Dumpster Diving

It was a Thanksgiving I spent alone many years ago. I had just moved from California to Texas and didn’t have very many friends in the area yet. I had to work over the holiday week both the day prior and day after Thanksgiving so there wasn’t enough time to leave town and visit family. I was sitting around feeling a bit deflated when I looked out of my apartment window. There were two ladies digging through the dumpster. I realized in that moment how blessed I was and sitting around feeling sorry for myself was incredibly ridiculous. It was a call for me to do something for others going through tougher times than I could imagine. I had a job, a decent roof over my head and food in my kitchen.

This morning, my son asked me, “Mom, what is ‘Dumpster Diving’”? I wondered where he heard the term. Evidently one of the cartoons included this in an episode but on a comical note. I explained that some people do that for fun to find treasures while others do this out of necessity. My son’s question took me back in time remembering that depressing Thanksgiving Day when I transitioned from drowning in my own negative circumstances to becoming more aware of what was happening in my own backyard. I learned those two ladies made a routine out of visiting the dumpster for leftover food. I gathered canned items and set them out there the next day where they could be easily found.

How observant are we during the holidays while rushing around to find the next gift on our list and next “do” on our “To Do” list? Have you noticed anyone sleeping in a car in the local grocery store parking lot? Have you seen the homeless person sleeping at a nearby park or under the bridge of the highway? What about the families that are living in a homeless shelter for the first time in their lives?

Remember those who are wandering around lost /alone and hungry this Christmas season. You may have just passed by them while in a rush to stash away your shopping bags!