June 18, 2024

Holiday Peace Meal on Dec. 22

By Vanessa Martynse Houk

A little hope costs less than you might think it does.
(Holiday peace meal party information is here too, but first, you must wade through my holiday musings.)
You already know how much we care about hunger and food insecurity in the Rogue Valley and how the peace meals quietly serve our most vulnerable neighbors, week after week. You know that it’s nearly an all-volunteer effort that’s fueled by thousands of volunteer hours and it’s love in action. Thank you to our friends, volunteers and supporters for keeping it all going.
It’s almost time for the holiday peace meal party and I haven’t done much of anything to pull it together. Normally by now, I’m several months into collecting gift items and I have a folder full of wish lists. When we lost everything in the Almeda fire, it taught me a lot about hope and accepting help from others. The past few years have been a series of new lessons for me and one of the most poignant is learning to ask other people for help.
Help!
On December 22nd, we are going to create a spectacular party at the Presbyterian church, one that makes that whole building feel like home. There will be gifts for everyone because as you know, we have to take better care of each other. There will be a good hot meal and how about the tradition of boxes of homemade treats for everyone to take with them at the end of the party? I think that sounds nice.
One of the things that we’ve identified as an ongoing need for our brothers and sisters who are living outside is that there aren’t enough places where they can get inside for a little while. Thinking about that, and knowing how much we like to encourage everyone to shop locally, I’m asking anyone who can afford to buy a couple of small gift cards for local grocery stores, restaurants and/or coffee shops. These gifts are handed out to our most vulnerable friends and neighbors and it buys them a meal and an hour of warmth on the coldest days. It buys hope. A $10 gift card can get someone inside for an hour or so, on one of the coldest days. I’m trying to collect 100 gift cards, and I have holiday cards that we will write some sweet messages in, and I’d like to include a gift card inside each one.
It’s a season of hope. I can finally feel it– I wasn’t sure that it was going to find me this year. If that isn’t magic, I don’t know what is. ❤
Drop-off locations:
Can inside Pony Espresso next to the bank
Lithia Park, Thursdays and Fridays near the gazebo or bandshell area from 3:30 to 4:30 pm, no matter the weather.
Mailing address
Southern Oregon jobs with justice
258 A Street #1-220
Ashland Oregon 97520
Thank you.
The 8th annual Holiday Peace Meal celebration will be held on December 22 at the Ashland Presbyterian church (1615 Clark Ave, Ashland).
Cooks, volunteers, and cookie bakers are needed! Here’s a sign-up sheet for that. (INFO: look for the Rsvp button and click that to sign up)

https://www.signupgenius.com/go/30E0B4BAAA928ABF58-46634628-community?fbclid=IwAR0URqnkt9tB781y_hRNwrMFNNjsUv5sZsGnrMRIjmDiodqi0YwHHOpzvwE#/