Heidi Gutman / NBC
In the interest of full disclosure, I LOVE Thanksgiving. Yes, there’s the food (and leftovers!), the parade, the lazy morning and the tryptophan-induced afternoon haze, but the real reason I love this holiday is in the name. It reminds us to pause, and think about the myriad things we have to be thankful for.
This year, many people are reflecting far from home. Displaced by Sandy, or perhaps a disaster on a smaller scale that didn’t make the national news. Perhaps they’re trying to focus on the blessings, while mourning the loss of a loved one, or trying not to notice the empty chair for someone who couldn’t make it home.
In recent weeks I’ve met people dealing with the aftermath of Sandy in Connecticut, Long Island and Coney Island. Every single person, from those who had lost everything and had nowhere to live, to those waiting for the power to come back on, was convinced they were the lucky ones. They were safe, they told me. They had their families and their health…and they were all convinced someone else, somewhere, had suffered more. Even when they needed more than they ever had, they wanted to help.
In that spirit, I hope we can all take a moment this weekend to think of those in need. Whether it’s donating food and warm clothing, spending time with a loved one, helping a neighbor or just taking that extra few minutes with your kids in the morning to really listen.
There are still so many in need, and keep in mind their needs won’t end anytime soon. Beyond food, clothing and blankets, they also need things like cleaning supplies (bleach, heavy duty gloves, push-brooms), personal hygiene products (shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, feminine products), school supplies, and our support. This year I am thankful for my family, and thankful to be a part of community that always rises to the occasion. So many of you inspire me each day with your generosity and your compassion. Thank you.
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