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It’s the day before Thanksgiving. Whether you’re celebrating already or not, these things are, more than likely, on your mind: family, food, and (hopefully) giving thanks.

If you already know about Team Emmanuel S., feel free to skip the following paragraph. If not, please read:

Emmanuel Shyiraker lives on the streets in Rwanda. We are trying to give him the opportunity to go to school and receive two meals a day for a year. You can buy a watch or donate through Hello Somebody (making sure you write “Emmanuel Shyiraker” in the Note to Seller field). Hello Somebody will, in turn, give the funds to Africa New Life, which provides the food and education for the street boys. It takes 70 watches (or the straight donation equivalent, $1000) to provide Emmanuel with education and food for an entire year. For more information and updates on this project, you can read our Team Emmanuel S. page or like the Facebook page.

So what does this have to do with Thanksgiving? What does this have to do with my family, my food, my giving thanks?

Emmanuel’s father died when he was young. His mother was unable to provide for him and his sisters, so Emmanuel takes care of himself. That’s family for Emmanuel.

Emmanuel and the other street children aren’t guaranteed a good meal a day, let alone three square meals a day, let alone a gorge-tastic Thanksgiving feast with all the fixins. Two meals a day at school would be a huge blessing. That’s food for Emmanuel.

Emmanuel has seen much trouble and violence in his life. He is thankful to still be alive. That’s giving thanks for Emmanuel.

In a previous post, I asked readers to consider what if Emmanuel’s story were their story? That’s how we’re supposed to love our neighbors— as ourselves. As you eat your turkey and pumpkin pie, watch football or the parade with your family, and count your blessings, think of Emmanuel and the millions of others like him around the world. That should make us truly thankful.

But that’s not enough, not really. True thankfulness should produce sincere generosity. Out of what we have been given, we give back. We have the opportunity to change Emmanuel’s life— to give him even more to be thankful for. Let’s embrace it. This isn’t just my project— I want it to be yours, too. If you do buy a watch or donate, please comment and let me know and encourage others to do the same.

I’ll be posting related content throughout the day.


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