Share the Bounty

Good morning everybody! We are up early in the DALS house today — doing some pie-baking, turkey-seasoning, and last-minute farm-shopping before heading out to my sister’s house in Long Island to spend a few days with the family. As I’ve mentioned many millions of times, Thanksgiving is my Super Bowl. There’s no holiday I love more for its sheer bounteous bounty.
About that bounty!
A lot of you have been in touch with me since the Election asking if I have ideas about re-engaging and getting more involved with your communities. To that end, I’m pleased to announce a new partnership with Family-to-Family, a national organization that I have been part of for a year now. FTF, has some amazing outreach programs that align extremely well with this blog — Birthday in a Box, Doorknob Dinner Project, One Book at a Time — but today, I wanted to focus on Sponsor A Family, which can be summed up in one very simple sentence: Families with more give to families with less. Every month, the sponsor gives money towards another family’s grocery bill (usually about $35) plus personal care items, or specific donations like soccer cleats or ballet shoes or Thanksgiving supplies requested through letters. When sponsoring within your own community, especially small ones, the giving is sometimes anonymous — all I know about the family we sponsor is that the mom is single and struggling to support a six-year-old boy and four-year-old girl. Her ex-husband is in Turkey and has been unable to send any child support — but I don’t need to know more than that. It is a relatively small gesture that’s making a big difference in helping someone get through some rough times. Pam Koner, a local hero in our community, started the program in her basement office after reading a New York Times series on poverty, and its a good reminder that when urgency, love, and community merge, some great things ensue. The program now helps families in twenty-seven communities nationwide.
I’m hoping you can help, too. From now until Christmas, I’ll be reminding everyone about the program, hoping to inspire a few of you to sponsor a family yourself. To sweeten the pot a bit: The first twenty-five people** to sign up will receive a free copy of any of my books — your choice which one. (If you have all three, then, bless you, and we can talk about other options…my husband is a book editor, remember?) Once you register, email me your name ( and the book you’d like (in case you are one of the top 25) and I will cross-check my list with Pam’s. And feel free to SPREAD THE WORD. ***UPDATE 12/1: THANKS TO A VERY GENEROUS DONATION FROM RANDOM HOUSE, WE ARE INCREASING THE FREE BOOK OFFER TO ANOTHER 20 SPONSORS. SIGN UP TODAY AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
Thank you all for listening and have a wonderful holiday.
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Oh Jenny, I’m so excited about these ideas!! Community service has been a big part of my life since I was a young teen, but as a mama with four munchkins ages 10 to 1, I’ve struggled to find opportunities that I can involve all of my children in. They are gonna LOVE the birthday box, doorknob dinners, and one book-a-month projects! The projects sound so lovely and feasible, and I can see us focusing on one for a year and then rotating to another. Thank you for the inspiration and information! I’m SO excited. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! Much love xoxo


This idea is genius. I just sponsored a family in Bed-Stuy, a couple of neighborhoods over from where we live. Happy thanksgiving to you and yours!

Laura Lee Pfahler

I love these ideas! I have three children (10, 8, 5) and have been looking for ways to involve our family in community service to help them learn and practice empathy.

Happy Thanksgiving!


I love this suggestion. I try to give throughout the year to those who have less but I like the idea of an organization that allows the giving to be ongoing and anonymous.


I love this idea! We are sponsoring a family for the holidays in Los Angeles but I love the idea to do it all year long! Count me in! Thanks for all that you do. Happy Thanksgiving!

Angie S.

I just wanted to thank you so much for sharing this, Jenny. Like so many, between the holidays and the recent election, I’ve been thinking a lot about how I can help others in a meaningful way. I love everything about Family-to-Family: helping out in smaller communities, having it be a year-round commitment as opposed to only during the holidays, and the opportunity for my kids to participate. We’re signing up, but I’m especially excited to reach out to my neighbors and participate in the Give Where You Live option. So thank you for highlighting an organization that I would’ve never discovered on my own. Come to Indianapolis on a book tour someday so I can give you a hug in person!


Thank you Angie (and everyone else!) If you sign up to sponsor, please do email me — jenny AT dinneralovestory DOT com — so I can keep track of everyone. The response has been tremendous and we are close to our goal, but there are still a few books to give away if that is a motivating factor for anyone out there reading this a few days later. xoxoxox