CHEERS to those who volunteer on Thanksgiving Day to feed others, and CHEERS to stores that close for the holiday.

On a day we are thankful for the many blessings we have, there are those in our midst who go well beyond saying a touching grace before consuming a great feast.

There are people who step out into the community to make sure others less fortunate can enjoy the day a bit.

The best evidence this year in the North Country might have been at MHAB Life Skills Campus in Plattsburgh.

More than 40 people showed up to prepare and serve Thanksgiving dinner to nearly 200 people Thursday afternoon, and then clean up afterwards.

The meal was sponsored by MHAB in conjunction with Champlain Valley Center All Ways to Recovery Community Center. It was designed to serve clients of MHAB who are working in recovery toward a better life.

But it was also open to anyone in the community who didn't have a place to go for Thanksgiving or no one to share it with.

What a kind and generous act.

Of course no such event can take place without help.

Volunteers poured in as did food donations and cash offerings to help buy the needed meal items, including 11 turkeys.

They worked throughout the day, as well as the day before, putting others before themselves, and it was greatly appreciated by many.

And it wasn't just ordinary run-of-the-mill cafeteria food.

The turkeys and traditional dishes of mashed potatoes, squash, stuffing and other sides looked and smelled top notch.

The mood seemed peaceful and happy.

What more could you ask for?

While those kind volunteers were serving others, there were those who did have to work on Thanksgiving.

We are sorry to see that, but in some cases it is understandable.

Most grocery stores were open for a short time before closing early, which makes sense, because no doubt there are plenty of people who forgot a last-minute item while cooking.

Convenience/gas station stores were open too, which is necessary to cater to the many travelers who need fuel for their trips.

But it was heartening to see so many other stores and restaurants actually closed for the day, giving their employees precious time off for the holiday.

It seems there was a big backlash a few years ago when many of the big box retailers announced that they were going to get a jump on Black Friday by opening on Thanksgiving.

Some stores have since changed course and opted to stay closed on Thanksgiving, which we are glad to see.

There are nearly four weeks left to get Christmas shopping done, and the bottom line for many retailers most likely can survive being closed on Thanksgiving.

We hope that is a trend that lasts.


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