The Gift of Giving on Thanksgiving

Many have something to be thankful for on the “Day of Thanks.”

One Heartland family cherished the time they have together by volunteering and helping Omaha’s homeless.

At the Siena Francis House, Thanksgiving wouldn't appear to be the easiest holiday to celebrate, if not for people like Deb Kelly and her family who stepped up to help the poor and homeless.

In lieu of a gift exchange, the group decided to buy “hundreds” of pairs of long underwear for winter, candy, and personal items to donate to the shelter. "We all have had so many opportunities, if we can create an opportunity for someone else today,” Kelly said.

The decision for them to help was one made three years ago when Kelly and her mother were diagnosed with breast cancer. "They always say to whom much is given, much is expected. We are not all born equal when it comes to opportunity, in life. We have had opportunity,” Kelly said.

So, the family discovered a new opportunity. There were 30 family members helping out Thanksgiving Day. Some were giving away clothes and others were serving a meal. They all said it was part of giving back on Thanksgiving.

"We just like to give thanks, we are grateful for what we have, just giving to others now,” Tayler Kelly said.

"It's good to help and if there is a need we are willing to help fill that spot and take care of others, because we've definitely been helped out for sure,” Alex Dostal said.

“Really, if you can touch one person or help one person, you know it is Thanksgiving and it's the spirit of the season, it makes it all worth it, it is so worth it,” Mendy Erickson said.
Worth it because while the time we have together is limited, the reach of our giving is not.

The family also donated toys to 70 children at the Stephen Center.


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