On the eve of Thanksgiving, I had the honor of working alongside many members of Shiloh Baptist Church serving a Thanksgiving meal to hundreds of folks at the Oak Park Community Center. I was accompanied by District 5 staff as well as family of Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn.
It was a quite a meal – turkey, gravy, stuffing, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, vegetables, cranberry sauce, sweet potato pie, and much more! Personally, I was dishing up the stuffing. The food was prepared by the parishioners of Shiloh. Undoubtedly, they spent hours preparing such a grand neighborhood feast.
What I found most striking was the sheer number of people who came to eat. There was no program, no other incentives - just food. It surely seemed that for many, this was the only real meal of the day – perhaps even the only solid meal for a few days or a week. I saw a few individuals taking to-go boxes home. Initially, I was disheartened by the harsh reality that so many people lack such a basic necessity as food. However, the overwhelming sense of community and fellowship at that event reminded me that when we work together we can impact the lives of others, even if just for a moment.
I want to thank Pastor Sadler and his church members for all the time and effort it took to prepare and serve this great meal to those who need it most. I hope that they will accept an invitation to be honored with a resolution at City Hall for this truly altruistic endeavor.
Important to note, is that I know they are not alone in the provision of service, community, and comfort in this City. Churches and non-profit organizations throughout the City host events in their communities to serve the those in need during the holiday season, and throughout the year.
Reflecting upon this event, I realized that it’s not merely the City that I love, rather, it is the people more than anything. Time and again, we step up to take care of each other. Time and again, we invest our energy and resources into helping one another. Time and again, we give of ourselves to make our community better. In my religion, it’s called Tikkun Olam – healing the world.
In Sacramento, it’s just another day of doing what’s right.
I spent Thanksgiving in Seattle with my wife visiting our son and his fiancé. Seattle is a great city, but when the plane wheels touched down in Sacramento, I was surely glad to be home. I love this place.
I want to wish each and every one of you a Happy Holiday, Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Happy Kwanzaa, or any other celebration you choose to partake in. Let’s keep making Sacramento a better place, together.
In addition to his council duties, Jay works as an independent consultant and policy advisor on education reform and youth policy and strategies.