Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, a day we pause to celebrate family and give thanks for the blessings in our lives. I like to think of Thanksgiving as a chance to disconnect from the craziness of the everyday and reflect on the things that matter most. What a delight to spend the day laughing and cooking with my mom and sister and relish in the harvest of my dad’s vegetable garden.
But not everyone enjoys the luxury of such a day (and I don’t mean shoppers foregoing holiday dinner to wait in line for Black Friday sales!). One in six Americans goes hungry, many of them children and elderly. So this week, let’s applaud the important work of nonprofits like Feeding America, Share Our Strength and Meals on Wheels, which have created a network of local organizations providing meals and support for our fellow Americans who have fallen on hard circumstances. They are the heroes of Thanksgiving.
In the spirit of the season, I’d like to draw your attention to an innovative partnership for hunger relief. AARP and AARP Foundation have teamed with NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon, team owner Rick Hendrick, Feeding America and other partners for the “Drive to End Hunger” initiative that raises awareness for hunger in America.
Here’s the big deal: AARP is sponsoring the car – and this is the first time in NASCAR’s history that a sponsorship is cause-based and not commercial. Think about all those laps in all those races all reinforcing the Drive to End Hunger with a loyal and enthusiastic fan base, many of whom live in the very communities the campaign seeks to help.
Meaningful and authentic cause marketing has truly arrived and that’s something to be grateful for.