Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Giving Thanks

Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. (Hebrews 13:1-2)

Dear Friends,

Volunteer crew
At the YMCA
Not too long ago, my wife and I experienced the very harsh financial realities faced by so many Americans today; we were in an extremely difficult financial bind as a result of my being out of work. This reality was exposed to all of Plainfield in a flyer that was placed on car windows and in peoples’ mail boxes last year in an attempt to embarrass me and shame my family. That attempt failed, and we chose to lay bare the challenges that we were facing by letting the world know the truth of our financial condition. I wrote back then, “I am not immune to financial hardships; I am like all of the other people whose financial lives have been turned upside down due to their unemployment status and other special situations.” 

LAC Director Flor Gonzalez
With the Latin American Coalition
As I suspected, I was not alone; there were literally thousands of Plainfielders in my same plight, many of whom called me or dropped me a line to let me know that we were brothers and sisters in distress, caught in a financial tide that threatened to destroy our way of life. Some people came up to me and said “Adrian, I know what you are feeling; I am where you are.”

Roni gives marching orders at the YMCA
That was roughly 18 months ago. Since that time, I have found employment, and my family and I are on the road to recovery. The road still has some ruts and bumps, but as I wrote then, “I know, beyond any doubt, that the Creator will smile on me and I will repay every debt that I owe.”
Cedarbrook Apts with Reather and Bev
My family and I were extremely fortunate during Hurricane Sandy. Although we were without power for several days, we were spared the serious damage that has affected so many of the residents of our city. Especially hard-hit were many of our senior citizens, who had to suffer through the cold and darkness, empty out refrigerators which were filled with spoiled food, and whose only hot meals were those delivered by the Salvation Army. 

At Richmond Towers
Covenant Manor in the 1st Ward
Making a delivery at Tower West
As I was out canvassing parts of the Third Ward and visiting those at our senior citizen buildings across the city, the comments I heard consistently had to do with replacing food and having enough money to enjoy the blessings of Thanksgiving. Amelia and I knew that there was something we could do for those in need—following the lead of other organizations in the city, such as many of our churches and other charities, we purchased turkeys and gathered some volunteers to assist us in distributing them to the senior residences and to other groups and individuals. 

With Kim of "Kym's Kitchen"
I would like to highlight one individual, Kim, in whose yearly "Kym's Kitchen Annual Facebook Thanksgiving Drive" we were happy to be able to participate. Kim collects food donations from all parts of our city, and with her own team, organizes and delivers dozens of Thanksgiving food baskets (with vegetables, gravy, yams, boxed pasta, mashed potatoes, stuffing, corn bread mix, cake mix, frosting, beverages, rice, canned milk, butter, eggs, meats, including chicken, turkey, ham, and more) to those who otherwise would go without. She does this for no other reason than that it is the right thing to do. It is hard work, but Kim's humble devotion to the less fortunate exemplifies the Plainfield spirit!

So, friends, the season of giving has just begun, and it is with extreme humility that we offer our small gift; we are thankful that we were able to share what God has blessed us with.

Have a wonderful and blessed holiday.

Adrian and Amelia


Bernice said...

I am thankful that you are willing to share your talent and expertise as an elected official with all of us, despite unfair political attacks. Your faith in the better side of people is a lesson worth emulating.

Emmett Swan, CPP said...

Mr. Mapp, you and your wife Amelia are gracious and inspiring to me and my family. I have had the pleasure of meeting you and your wife on many occasions especially during your summer gathering at your home. Thank you for sharing your story and giving us all hope. God Bless You and I look forward to assisting your campaign.

Rebecca Williams said...

I echo the comments of Bernice and Emmett, Adrian. As a part of the volunteer crew, it was nice to be out in the streets and seeing folks' smiling faces after all the struggles of the past few weeks. I know that you and your family will have a very beautiful day of giving thanks.



Anonymous said...

All I have to say Adrian, is that you are a better person than I considering how vile you have been treated by the Democratic Party. You have maintained dignity and exhibited the true spirit of "turn the other cheek." My saving grace is that I know you, I learn from you, and I try to be half as gracious as you to my fellow human beings. Many more blessings to you and your family.