The First Thing You Do on Thanksgiving Morning
You wake up around the same time your alarm went off yesterday before work, and it takes you a minute to remember that you can go back to sleep this morning. It’s about to be a great day, and the thought of yams almost gets you out of bed because you can hardly contain yourself. But you roll over, grateful to absorb at least another hour or two of sleep.
That’s what a Thanksgiving morning may look like for you. For Amy, her husband and her three teenagers, Thanksgiving morning looks a little different.
Amy’s alarm goes off just as it did on Wednesday, but she does not slip happily back to sleep. She gets up and starts her Thanksgiving the same way she’s done every year since 2008: at the Mall of America at 7 a.m..
“It can seem kind of bizarre going to a relatively empty shopping mall on Thanksgiving morning,” Amy admits. “But we always have a good time and we feel good about what we’re doing there.”
Amy and her family are longtime participants of Walk to End Hunger, an annual Thanksgiving fundraiser. This unique event involves an easygoing 5k walk (stroller and wheelchair accessible!), live music, crafts, Santa, a photo booth and more. All the proceeds from the event itself and beforehand from walking teams go to support hunger relief organizations in the Twin Cities. Since its inception in 2008, Walk to End Hunger has raised more than $1.2 million for these organizations.
Of all the beneficiaries of Walk to End Hunger, Amy’s family chooses Second Harvest Heartland every year. “[Second Harvest Heartland] solves a critical need in distributing food.” Amy believes hunger is an essential issue to address, and bringing her kids from the time they were 3, 5 and 7 years old has been important to how she raises them. “It’s important for them to understand that this is part of being a member of the community—whether they’re interested in home repair or Second Harvest Heartland, pick something you’re passionate about and give your time to it.”
Amy was first introduced to Walk to End Hunger and supporting Second Harvest Heartland when her employer Cargill encouraged employees to get involved with the fundraising event. And at first, Amy wasn’t so sure about the early morning thing. “The first time I saw it was at seven, I thought oooh that’s harsh!” Amy said. “You’re able to come in and do this good work, and you have almost your whole day to celebrate your Thanksgiving Day the way you want to. It actually works really well, and the traffic is light. I like the idea that it’s the first thing you do that day.”
Second Harvest Heartland needs to raise 12 million meals by Thanksgiving Day to Fill Another Table for our hungry neighbors, so this year’s Walk to End Hunger has never been more important to us. Choose from four different ways make a difference on Thanksgiving Day:
- Start your own walk team, and recruit your friends and family to join you
- Join Second Harvest Heartland’s official walk team (and Bremer Bank may match the funds you raise!)
- Donate to support Second Harvest Heartland, a walk team or an individual walker
Don’t think you can handle the early morning? There’s something for you too! Walk to End Hunger has a Sleepwalker option, so you can participate and still get your rest. Learn more about Walk to End Hunger and get involved!