Americans have once again begun their annual Thanksgiving pilgrimages, racing across the country to be with their families and loved ones this holiday week. They'll enjoy bountiful food and spend long afternoons watching parades and football games or taking long, turkey-induced naps. It will be a leisurely time for most of us, with few obligations or responsibilities.
Try to create a mental picture of the first Thanksgiving - one that many of us saw in our childhood school books - an idealized table of fresh-scrubbed pilgrims being served a bountiful meal by happy American Indians.
While we don't know if this picture is accurate history, or simply legend, the important lesson it teaches should not be lost - the Pilgrims were being fed this first Thanksgiving meal because they were hungry. The American Indians felt a moral obligation to provide sustenance to their new neighbors.
We hope that Americans today will share this sense of commitment to their neighbors and community, and will take action to help those who will not find themselves sitting at nicely set tables with steaming platters of food this holiday season - the millions of Americans who struggle every day of the year to make ends meet - working families who must often choose between paying their bills or providing food for their families.