The gratitude month

November is the month of saying “thank you:” 

* Veteran’s Day is a federal holiday for Americans to acknowledge and celebrate the commitment of those with U.S. military service. In addition to their military occupational specialty, our service men and women have been placed into service in humanitarian efforts, such as COVID-19 testing and natural disasters in the U.S.

*  Thanksgiving is the commemoration of the help provided by indigenous peoples to the earliest immigrants – the pilgrims from Great Britain.

If you are finding it hard to feel grateful right now, know that you are not alone. Since the pandemic began shutting down public events in early 2020, the opportunity to share events with others has been drastically reduced. For some, the loss of gathering with friends/family/co-workers has squashed the usual sense of gratitude.

Finding your way back to joy, happiness, gratitude – whatever you want to call it – is easy. It requires finding that first step toward serving others. The call to serve others is not new or rigidly defined. Opportunity abounds all around us!

Faith-based: Many spiritual organizations encourage (or even require) service projects. A project may be a single event, such as a fundraiser for a family with a home damaged by a tornado. Other projects can be ongoing, such as serving dinner once a week at a homeless shelter or shoveling a neighbor’s sidewalk. The key is to serve without any expectation of return. 

Corporate-based: Large corporations frequently embrace chances to be good community partners. To reflect this, companies headquartered here in the Twin Cities (like Target and Cargill) provide opportunities for employees to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, or have team-building events such as Feed My Starving Children (meal packing). And smaller companies embrace seasonal projects like collecting Toys for Tots, or manning the Metro Paint-A-Thon for low-income seniors/disabled homeowners needing maintenance on their homes.  Contributing money and providing a workforce demonstrates the company’s commitment to better the places where their customers shop.

Local nonprofits, schools and libraries all need volunteers – look through this Camden News and you’ll see many, they’re all around our community.

If group activities are not an option or appealing to some, there are a plethora of other options: proofreading the community newspaper, gifting a night of babysitting for a couple with young children, feeding pets while neighbors are away – the list is endless if you want to get back to gratitude.

And if you know someone that needs your help, and you are able to help without needing anything in return, then you’re blessed! Be grateful.

Happy Thanksgiving. 

And thank you to all service men and women.