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Today, bird's the word

| November 19, 2010 8:00 PM

If Midge Smock's dinner table was big enough, we suspect she'd personally feed the 2,500 or more Coeur d'Alene families unable to provide their own hot meal on Thanksgiving Day.

Midge, you might recall, was the driving force behind a massive community effort to assist Shasta Groene. Through her Windermere Foundation, she's put mittens on the hands and socks on the feet of thousands of area children over the years. Through Windermere and privately, she and the rest of her family have been among the most ardent - and generous - supporters of Children's Village and other nonprofits focusing on the sometimes desperate needs of youngsters. The Smocks and their extended family of associates also have a holiday tradition of collecting and delivering bountiful boxes of goodies to the elderly throughout Kootenai County.

So it's no wonder that Midge has been rallying the troops to find enough turkeys to feed all her hungry neighbors on Thanksgiving Day. But her efforts alone might not be enough.

The Community Action Partnership food bank in Coeur d'Alene was, as of this writing Thursday, far short of its goal of 2,500 turkey dinners requested by needy area residents. We know help is on the way: As they do every year, local Democrats are going to make a special delivery to the food bank this afternoon. Our friends at North Idaho Physical Therapy are also pitching in after a rousing office fundraiser. And because of the urgings of Midge and others, more big birds are no doubt on the way.

But as the economy has sputtered, increasing numbers of people have found their bank accounts barren. In the past three years, the number of food bank requests for Thanksgiving meals has tripled. As Midge could tell you, that means those of us who have a little more than we need also have a great opportunity to share.

We encourage you, reader, to run out on a break today, pick up a frozen turkey and drop it off at the food bank, 4144 W. Industrial Loop in Coeur d'Alene (664-9757). Local businesses have been doing most of the donating, and we think individuals will need to make up the rest.

The great thing about donating a frozen turkey and/or all the fixins is that if by some miracle the food bank ends up with a surplus, the food won't go to waste - not with Christmas just around the corner. Give yourself one of the greatest gifts today. Donate a frozen turkey and fixins to the food bank and bask in the glow of the warm feeling that giving provides.

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