How was your weekend? As a New Hampshire resident, I passed the time by plotting fun ways to remove my doorbell.
On Wednesday, what will we wake up to see? Riots, cars on fire, maybe some looting? Screaming crowds marching through the streets? Maybe people will go to work as usual, start their Thanksgiving shopping lists, and pull the sweaters out of storage.
Since my father passed away in 2011, I've shared five Shire Sharing weekends with an ever-increasing group of people. The first time we did this, about 25 people showed up to help. Last year we saw hundreds of volunteers file in, and that was the year I realized people I'd never met were volunteering. For something that started with a Facebook post among friends, Shire Sharing has reached some impressive heights.
Take an aerial view, and Shire Sharing is just a group of people running around, filling bags with produce and pumpkin pies. It can seem homogenous. Up close, I see our differences. Volunteers are Republicans, Democrats, and everything in between. There are Christian, Jewish, and Muslim donors — and atheists as well.
I see nuclear families and single parents packing bags full of food. There are super progressive polyamorous couples (triples, quadruples, etc.) working in tandem with the inevitably single male IT professional to make sure every bag is filled properly. There's a farmer working the spreadsheets while teenagers are giving instructions to adults.
On the receiving end, there is as much variety. We deliver meals to disabled veterans, impoverished families, the elderly, and people with terminal medical conditions. We also deliver meals to refugees who have recently moved to New Hampshire, although we provide a culturally-appropriate bag of goods in those cases.
The 2016 election season has done a fine job of highlighting our differences, and it's possible that our country has been wounded in some irreversible ways. Through no design of my own, however, Shire Sharing seems to patch up that wound — if only for a weekend. So pull out your spiffiest Hillary t-shirt, put on your yarmulke, and call up your three girlfriends, because we have a job to do (together).