Does anyone need to be reminded that next week is Thanksgiving? Television is filled with soft-focus ads showing families enjoying preparing and eating the holiday dinner.

This weekend every store that sells groceries will be packed with shoppers picking the fixings for dinner. Many of us will step back and marvel at the sight of the table with its themed-holiday centerpieces, the ‘good’ china and cloth napkins.

After dinner many will either be cleaning up, suffering a food coma or watching a football game. Some, though fewer of us, will be preparing for the frenzy of the Black Friday sales at stores and malls throughout the region.

Roll back the tape of that Norman Rockwell-esque scene and start over at a Keizer household where abundance is rarely seen and the reasons to give thanks seem to belong to someone else. In a rich nation there are too many families who can’t take part in the great American pageant of our Thanksgiving rituals. The lucky families are able to get to the food bank for generous donations of food. The unlucky families treat Thanksgiving as just another Thursday.

We ask that as Keizer families shop for their Thanksgiving dinner, they add extra items to their basket that can be donated to help every family enjoy the holiday.

Every store has a bin for food donations that will be donated to Marion-Polk Food Share or Keizer Community Food Bank. When we have plenty it should not be a heavy lift to help our neighbors who may not be as fortunate as we.

Other ways to help this season is to volunteer at Wednesday’s community dinner at St. Edward Church from 3 to 6 p.m. Or help out in downtown Salem locations to feed the needy. Thanksgiving will take on a whole new meaning when we help our brothers.   —LAZ