There is a reason that Thanksgiving is the busiest time of year to travel. Thanksgiving, more than any other holiday, is about friends and family spending quality time together. Of course you could argue that Christmas fits that bill, too. But for me, Christmas has become overly commercial. Just ask any kid you know, “What will you do on Christmas?” and 99.9% will tell you they will be opening gifts. But ask them what they will do on Thanksgiving and the answers will vary from “eat Turkey” to “see my family.” Family and friends will travel across the country, and sometimes around the globe, to spend the holiday together. Unfortunately, not everyone gets to do that.
It is estimated that there are nearly 1,500 homeless people living in El Paso. Who will see them on Thanksgiving? Heck, who see’s them on any given day? They are the people you look past, you ignore, you try not to make eye contact with. I say, “you” but I really mean “me,” too. We all do it. Sure, I try to help when I can. Some change here, a dollar there, sometimes even a meal or a blanket. But I know it is not nearly enough, and probably much less than I can do. Thankfully there are places that pick up the slack for the rest of us. One place is the “Opportunity Center” on Myrtle street.
The OC has assisted more than 5,500 people over the past year. That is far more than you or I could do on our own. So, it seems to me, the best way to help the homeless population in our community is to help the centers who do the most work to keep them fed, sheltered and safe.
There is a smaller group that hides inside the numbers, our military veterans. These are men and women who fought for our freedom. The military has a saying, “Leave no man behind.” But somehow, that got lost in translation for our most worthy when their service ended. We are not doing our patriotic duty if we refuse to get them the help they need. While it is true that there are a number of people who have decided to blur their future in the haze of alcohol and drugs, there are also men and women with mental illness who need more help then they are getting, but an even greater number have fallen on hard times and need a helping hand to get them back on their feet. The purpose of the Opportunity Center for the Homeless is to help those that can to move forward and for those who can’t, to protect them.
So, with this in mind, we have decided to donate Thanksgiving dinners to the Veterans in the Opportunity Center program. We need turkeys, pumpkin pies (whole, canned, crusts), cranberry sauce, stuffing, potatoes, and any other traditional holiday food you can think of to feed some hungry people! You can drop off your donations at Spa915, located at 1533 N. Lee Trevino, Ste. C1. Spa915 is inside the Chase Bank Complex on the corner of Lee Trevino and Vista del Sol. Please bring the food by during our regular office hours of 10 to 1 and 2 to 6 Tuesday through Thursday or Saturday from 9 to 1. You will receive a credit towards laser services at Spa915 with your donation. The more you donate, the more you will save, so make it count!
Here is our rewards chart:
- 1 item = $10 discount
- 2 items = $20 discount
- 3 items = $30 discount
- Turkey = $40 discount
- Ham = $40 discount
- a Meal = $75 discount (You can shop here: Turkey and Ham Dinners)
Let’s all do our part to make our homeless veterans feel at home.
Dr. Dave Williams served as a Hospital Corpsman in the Navy Reserve and was attached to the 4th Marine Division and Navy Fleet Hospital while enlisted. Spa915 is committed to our community and dedicated to helping military families through donation, volunteerism, and a high quality of care. We offer a sincere “Thank you for your service” to every military member, and their families, past and present. You are the backbone of our great nation!