Our City of Rochester’s resolution to be a compassionate city was signed on September 18, 2017. On Sunday, October 22, 2017, “People of all faiths and cultures were invited to experience diverse practices of compassion for the purpose of weaving healing and peace in our fractured world.” It was gorgeous Sunday afternoon, with rays of sunshine lighting the auditorium at Assisi Heights. Young and old, men and women, police officers and citizens, students and teachers, African, Asian, Caucasian, Indian and American were gathered for discussions around compassion. It was a pleasure to be surrounded by so much hope and peace in one room.

I lost a $50 Cub Foods gift card that my mom gave to my son for his birthday. I felt feelings of loss and disappointment. My 12-year-old son was silent as we walked, looking around on the ground, kicking the leaves hoping it was hiding underneath. He was really looking forward to going to the grocery store to buy whatever he wanted. I, too, was excited to have some extra funds to fill our cupboards with after-school snacks and maybe even a fine bottle of olive oil. This afternoon, I went to the grocery store to buy some ramen noodles (12 for $2.99) for after school snacks and supplies to make a huge crockpot of chili; however, I did not buy the olive oil. What I appreciate about today’s experience is being reminded of how it feels to want food, but not having the money. I am also reminded how forgiveness is a gift; he still loves me despite me losing his gift card. 

Beth Kosta and the crew at Community Food Response don’t ask questions when someone is in need of food (see page 21). They collect food from area restaurants to give without judgment. I have a couple of friends who volunteer with CFR regularly. In fact, Danielle Teal invited me to volunteer with her at CFR one Monday evening a few years ago. Times like those, when I am making a difference, I feel really good about myself. I love helping other people, and it makes me realize I do have so much and so much to offer. You, too, can make a difference in the lives other others through Community Food Response, The Salvation Army, United Way of Olmsted County, your faith community or service organization. 

In this Issue of Rochester Women magazine, we provide some ways to help you enjoy the holidays. When you are looking for the right holiday outfit, check out Samantha Erickson’s guide to surviving holiday fashion (page 15). If you’re not sure what to give someone this holiday season, read my holiday gift making and buying guide (pages 16-17). As you gather with your friends and family over the holiday season, remember to keep it simple. Try Emily Watkin’s beef brisket and punch recipes (page 28).

We hope you’ll join us on the trolley for Ladies Day Out to Olde Fashioned Christmas in Mantorville on Saturday, December 2 (see page 48). May you enjoy good friends and good cheer through the rest of this year!

With love,