Dispatches from a Reporter's Notebook

Giving thanks

Posted November 20, 2012

When we help people, that help needs to be tangible – not just for the people we are helping but for our own understanding of what we get from giving of ourselves to others.

As human beings, we have a need to know that the giving of time, energy and resources can, and is, making a difference.

I believe most people in this world really want to help other people, they just don’t always know how to do it. I think getting connected to well-run organizations that are lending a helping hand is the most effective and efficient way to do this.

This past week, we highlighted several organizations helping with Hurricane Sandy relief in the Northeast. They are all making a tangible difference in thousands of lives as the storm victims struggle to rebuild what they have lost.

As the weather turns cold, and the holidays approach, the outlook for these people who lost so much is even bleaker, and that’s why it is so important not to forget that they are still struggling, and will be for months, maybe even years.

Most of us will gather in some form with family and friends this week to celebrate Thanksgiving.

Those of us not affected by this storm have a lot to be thankful for. After all, here in North Carolina, we know how devastating and debilitating a hurricane can be.

But it’s the second part of the word, the "giving" part that we really need to focus on: How can we give, even in a small way?

Today on our 5:30 p.m. newscast, we plan highlight a group from North Carolina who started a Facebook page to raise money and gather volunteers to help with the relief effort.

Monday, we focused on a school in Apex where students, eager to help, also collected money and blankets to keep the victims warm in the coming months.

So, the answer is: We can help. We just need to connect with the right group. We've put together a list of just some of the organizations that are assisting Sandy's victims.

This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for things I usually take for granted, like a roof over my head, electricity, food on the table, the safety and health of my family.

But I am especially thankful for the people I met in our travels in the Northeast who reminded me that our inner strength always comes from helping others. There is no better antidote to self-pity.

In the words of the famous story teller and author of children’s fables, Aesop, "No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted."

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About this Blog:

WRAL's Amanda Lamb offers a behind-the-scenes look at what TV news reporters do, the people they meet and how their jobs affect them.