For the past two decades, my Thanksgiving holiday tradition – between eating turkey dinner and watching non-Steelers football games – includes bringing turkey dinners to those in need.
In other words, I’m a driver for the local Equinox Thanksgiving Day charity.
Years ago, I would queue at the Empire State Plaza with hundreds of other drivers, arriving at 2:00 in the morning and finding myself 20th in line. It was a celebration of the holiday, we were all ready to bring delicious meals to those in need throughout the Capital Region. I would always grab the tickets that were farthest away, which would take me to Voorheesville or to Nassau or to New Lebanon or to Corinth or to Ballston Spa or to any of the other hinterlands.
Eventually I became a long-distance driver, getting the assignment to drive specifically to those long-distance locations. Eight meals to Hoosick Falls? Load up Dracourage. Nine meals to a Hudson halfway shelter? Pack them in the Blackbird.
And, in fact, I was ready to christen my 2017 Chevrolet Volt (“Lightning’s Girl”) into this fraternity of charity. I’ll just wait for the announcement that drivers are needed, and I’ll get ready for the long haul.
Hmm. Haven’t heard anything.
So I contacted Equinox.
And surprisingly … they didn’t need me.
Here’s the thing. They already had more than enough drivers for Thursday – in fact, they had more drivers this year than they had destinations. And Equinox had actually spread out their deliveries – meals were on their way Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday as well. There were a few spots open for Monday if I wanted. But with other work commitments, I couldn’t make that happen.
Here’s the crazy thing. We all have our traditions for the holidays. And if I can’t deliver turkey dinners on Thanksgiving, I understand that it’s only because they have more than enough drivers to go around. The holiday tradition has spread to the point where other Capital Region motorists make this an essential part of their Thanksgiving.
And honestly … I’m good with that.
I’ll tell you this much … it’ll be kind of weird not getting up at 2:00 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning.
But I understand. Let’s share the tradition of giving for everyone.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and to yours. All the best.