SARASOTA, FL, UNITED STATES, December 1, 2017 /EINPresswire.com/ — Many families across the country are not able to have a proper Thanksgiving dinner. Families with tight budgets or going through hard times do not participate in the yearly tradition. Dr. Harold Lawler, who is an Occupational Medicine & General Preventive Medicine Physician based in the Sarasota area, wanted to improve the holiday for these families.
Donating time and money has always been a natural act of kindness for Lawler. These actions started before Lawler graduated medical school from the University of Alabama in 1988. Lawler and his family began donating to two families during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season. These meals were prepared at the Lawler home and then sent anonymously to the two families in need.
For this Thanksgiving holiday, Lawler wanted to be a part of the whole process. From picking the groceries to preparing the meal, Lawler thought the idea would be an excellent way to get to know the families he helped.
After thirty years of anonymously donating during the holiday season, Lawler wanted to be hands-on with the process. Lawler and his family then went and bought all the typical Thanksgiving groceries. These groceries included a sizeable frozen turkey and pumpkin pie.
The way Lawler finds families in need is by communicating with the local Boys & Girls Clubs throughout the greater Sarasota area. These references provide a fair list of single parents with at least two children to support.
Usually, these families live below the current poverty line and cannot afford the luxury of a Thanksgiving meal. In the Sarasota region, the rate of poverty is five-percent higher in than the entire state of Florida.
Preparing Thanksgiving Dinner With The Family
After purchasing the food and choosing the families, Lawler then began the process that was unfamiliar to him. Usually, he would pass off the food to a middleman who would deliver the dinner to the family. But this time, he surprised the family by going to their home to help cook the meal.
Lawler and his family cooked these meals and enjoyed the festive atmosphere first-hand. He also made sure the family had all the correct utensils and dinnerware for dinner.
"I've been blessed to grow up not having to worry about having holiday dinners," says Lawler. "To witness how much joy a simple dinner brings a family in need is very humbling."
While cooking the Thanksgiving dinner, Lawler also realized that the family had yet to purchase a Christmas tree.
"For our family, we usually put up the tree and decorate after Thanksgiving dinner," explains Lawler. "When I found out the family wasn't planning on purchasing a tree until later in December when she had available money, I wanted to help."
Stepping out of the room, Lawler was able to connect with friends who can deliver a tree. Within one hour, there was a knock on the door. The family now had a full Christmas tree for the holiday.
"The look on their face was priceless," says Lawler.
With preparations for dinner finished, Lawler joined the family to celebrate Thanksgiving. The two families shared stories and laugh throughout the meal.
"I wish I could go back and do this for the past years I've helped out families," states Lawler. "Experiencing how much it affects the family firsthand touches the heart."
After helping put up the Christmas tree and washing dishes, Lawler and his family said goodbye. They promised to stay in touch for future get-togethers. Lawler hopes more families around the state share the same idea in helping families.
"Some families and parents need help during the holidays," Lawler proclaims. "I hope more families can spread the kindness because it makes a difference."
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Source: EIN Presswire