Summer! Time to play, take a break, go to the pool, visit the beach, hike that daunting peak. But please remember those who might not have the summer off. Remember those who are refugees just getting started, those who are homeless hoping to get started again, those who are without–wondering where the next meal might come from, and those who are working hard just to get by.
I chatted with the liaison of a food pantry a few years back. She commented that summertime was their hardest time because the clients still had needs, but because the givers were focused on vacation and summer plans, the shelves became quite bare. She also commented that children of the working poor or homeless did not have access to free and reduced price school breakfast or lunch during summer break and that tended to put a bigger strain on family budgets, which in turn put a bigger strain on the food pantry. And just when the givers weren’t in town to give . . .
So, while you take your needed summer break, please remember those who might not be getting a break. Maybe you can give an extra donation to your local refugee resettlement organization as part of your vacation budget. Or perhaps you can schedule some kind service in your plans for summer. Or, when you clean out your kitchen in preparation for that long trip overseas, you can be sure to make time to drop a bag of non-perishables off at the local food pantry.
Remember, we are all in this together. Our nation’s strength depends on our strength as a whole. As we love and serve and lift up one another, we also love and serve and lift up our nation.