DEAR ABBY: Thanksgiving is fast approaching and I would like to share some advice with your readers from someone who has volunteered in shelters for many years.
1. Please do not volunteer on Thanksgiving. It's the day most people volunteer, and there are always more volunteers than homeless people.
2. If you want to make donations, please drop them off a few days before or a few days after. It will allow the shelter time to store all the donations and to take an inventory of what is still needed.
3. Shelters need not only food, but also paper goods such as plates, napkins, toilet paper and plastic utensils.
4. Because refrigerator space is limited, don't bring anything that must be refrigerated.
5. Most shelters pay rent, water, electric and telephone bills and lease office equipment, etc. A check or cash donation is ideal. It's also tax deductible.
If in doubt, call ahead (at least a week in advance) and ask what is needed. -- YEAR-ROUND VOLUNTEER
DEAR VOLUNTEER: Kudos to you for so generously giving your time to help others who are in need. I'm sure my readers will appreciate your insight. Planning ahead and knowing what is needed make perfect sense.
DEAR ABBY: Our son and daughter-in-law were married last year at a courthouse. They are now planning a "real" wedding. Our daughter-in-law thinks we should pay for the rehearsal dinner, and my husband thinks he isn't required to. Please help with this dilemma. Are we expected to pay for a rehearsal dinner since they have been married a year already? -- NEW MOTHER-IN-LAW IN OHIO
DEAR MOTHER-IN-LAW: Celebrations of this kind are gifts. Regardless of what your daughter-in-law is saying, they are not mandatory. While she may expect you to pay for the dinner, no rule of etiquette requires you to do it. Please tell your husband I said to hang onto his wallet.
DEAR ABBY: I'm writing you on behalf of a friend. No matter where her husband is -- at home, at a friend's, walking into a store or walking around town -- he's always dropping his pants to tuck in his shirt. One of these days someone is going to think he's flashing and have him arrested. His wife is afraid it will happen.
My friend has made comments to him about it, but he still continues. Please give me some advice because someone else may have the same problem, and it may save another family from this embarrassment. -- A FRIEND IN ST. PAUL
DEAR FRIEND: Your friend's concerns are legitimate. A man dropping his pants in a public place is, to say the least, attention-getting. If his concern is really that his shirts creep up, suggest that your friend talk to a tailor -- many cleaners have them in their shops -- about how to prevent the problem from happening. During a Minnesota winter, she could save him from catching pneumonia from the bottom up.
Abby shares more than 100 of her favorite recipes in two booklets: "Abby's Favorite Recipes" and "More Favorite Recipes by Dear Abby." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $14 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Cookbooklet Set, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)