It’s Thanksgiving.

Remember what Thanksgiving is all about?

Maybe that’s a little tough for some of us this year. After all, we’re facing a pandemic that is so bad we were urged not to have big family meals today. Some of us are dealing with financial hardship because of the coronavirus that shut businesses and put thousands in Florida out of work.

Perhaps it was difficult finding extra cash for a big meal. And the idea of Christmas and all those presents may be weighing on you today.

Maybe the election didn’t go your way. Perhaps you miss friends and neighbors who won’t make it to Florida this year because of travel constraints and fear of the virus.

There are lots of reasons we could drop our head, complain or decide to pass on this Thanksgiving.

But there are plenty of reasons to smile and be glad we have opportunities to celebrate today. The most simple reason might be that you’re healthy and alive.

Even those of us who may have suffered a tragedy this past year, who are struggling financially or health wise, should be able to find something that gives them hope and comfort today.

Maybe it’s a special grandchild. Maybe it’s the prospect of seeing loved ones on Christmas. Perhaps it’s a healthy prognosis from a doctor or the news that a vaccine is coming soon that can help rid us of fear we’ll get the coronavirus.

Or, maybe it’s looking forward to a special meal today. And there are opportunities to have a good turkey meal today, even if you’re alone, broke or afraid of going out because of the pandemic.

Let’s give thanks for the people who found the time and put in the effort to feed so many today.

The people at Gulf Cove United Methodist Church, 1100 McCall Road, Port Charlotte, will serve a free Thanksgiving dinner with turkey and all the traditional fixings from noon to 3 p.m. today. If you plan to go, it will be drive-thru only. Just pull up in the drive-thru lane and request the number of dinners you need. For more information, call 941-697-1747 or go to

First United Methodist Church in Punta Gorda is also offering free Thanksgiving dinners for pick-up. Call 941-639-3842 early today and you may still be able to sign up.

Some groups got an early start on the holiday.

The Punta Gorda Knights of Columbus collected and delivered 180 frozen turkeys to the Homeless Coalition of Charlotte County over the weekend. The plan is to feed more than 300 families this holiday season

The Charlotte County Democratic Party and the Veterans Caucus handed out Thanksgiving dinners to veterans and their families who reside at the Punta Gorda Veterans Village, 1250 Taylor St., Punta Gorda.

The congregation, and friends, at First Baptist Church of North Port, 8000 Dorothy Ave., served free Thanksgiving dinners Wednesday.

And, the American Bikers United Against Terrorism is sponsoring a Thanksgiving food drive today with all donations being used to provide dinners for 30 families in need in Charlotte County.

It’s heartening that so many people decided they wanted to help others today even with a pandemic raging at our doorstep.

They’re happy to be giving to others. Isn’t giving what today is all about.


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