Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving in the Bayview

On Saturday I had the privilege of delivering about 250 turkeys to folks less fortunate than myself. For the last 5 years of so, I have joined with other members of the San Francisco Bayview Rotary to deliver turkeys to Kiska Road (on the top of Hunters Point Hill) and to Alice Griffith (Double Rock). This was the first year, however, that our 8-year-old triplets joined me.

I’m not sure what they expected as they were introduced to the 10 adults they would be working with (“are we the only kids?” was muttered by one of them) nor I was I sure how they would react. As we entered Double Rock they began to ask questions: Why are we doing this? Can’t these people get their own turkeys? As they carried turkeys and Rotary Cards to the doors they began to notice physical attributes about the neighborhood (bars on doors and metal bullet guards on windows) as well as the demographics of the neighborhood (decidedly African American). As we walked from front door to front door I was asked about poverty (both in San Francisco and the nation), classism (that’s my word not theirs) and racism (again my word). These are all things I’ve thought about a lot but I suspect my kids had not. Discussing these issues with them made me think about them again (there is nothing like being asked a question by your kids to make you rethink things) and gave me an opportunity to talk about them with my kids in a way that, I hope, might encourage them to make decisions as they get older that will make all of our Thanksgivings better.

From all of us at Pet Camp - have a happy Thanksgiving.

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