A carload of canned goods, destined for the local food shelf.

As we approach Thanksgiving 2012 in Vermont, we are especially thankful to have been spared the fury of Superstorm Sandy. Our thoughts are with those who were not. The storm has produced so much suffering that it’s hard to know how you can help.

Like many companies at this time of year, we raise money and gather food for those who need it. Through this year’s turkey drive, employees donated 132 turkeys for needy Vermonters, thanks to employee Erin Kirkpatrick, who organizes the drive.

The team at our Vermont garden centers has chosen to support colleagues at Sickles Market, a produce market and garden center in Little Silver, NJ. “When I heard of the massive losses incurred by our friends at Sickles, I felt like we had to do something to help,” said Pat Pearsall, who manages our two garden centers. We’re taking donations at our Vermont stores, but you can also donate online at GiveForward: http://www.giveforward.com/sandyrelief-sickles

In the Sickles Market blog, employee Patricia Dumas described how it felt as people began to return to the market in the days after the storm: “It was more than a business; more than a job. We (customers AND employees), actually all wanted to be together — not only to get physically warm, but to find some of that long-lost moral warmth at each other’s sides. Goodness is in all of us. You just need a storm to bring it out sometimes.”

In the spirit of the season, we encourage you to give thanks, and give — however you see fit. Make time to get out and do some good.