Finding Gratitude in 2020

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because it reminds me to count my blessings and be grateful. This year, although it may seem difficult, is the best year to remind ourselves of the goodness that has and is around us. I know 2020 has been a whirlwind of a year, but there have been so many things to smile about despite it all.

For instance, early on A Caring Closet saw a need for seniors and those in assisted living communities to find a way to connect to their loved ones while they were in quarantine. So they partnered with the Community Foundation for SW Washington and the Lynch family to purchase 300+ iPads that could be given to those homes so they could easily connect with family and friends.

Or about the seeing our local restaurants band together to support each other in business? I remember seeing Mark Matthias of Beaches and Jason Fish of Main Event partner on some creative marketing to not only bring business to their restaurants, but also to build community.

Another good example was how Partners in Careers partnered with PAL a couple times to bring fresh food to our lunch service this past summer. Seeing the smiling faces of families receiving fresh, farm vegetables was such a joy.

I also loved seeing the creativity in our nonprofit community. For example, the Clark County Historical Museum did such an amazing job of pivoting its storytelling from a physical museum space, to a virtual one, making history all the more tangible and accessible.

Yet for me, my favorite stories from the past 9 or so months, revolve around friendships. I heard countless accounts of folx helping each other and showing up in ways that were just remarkable. Our community came together and supported one another and that to me is inspiring. I mean, if it wasn’t for my friends I know I would have struggled more. They helped keep me smiling.

So this Thanksgiving, I want to honor/acknowledge the hardships so many of us have faced and continue to face, but I want to challenge all of us to not dwell on the not-so-good things. Give it the space it needs, and then search for goodness. Search for a smile, for that little something that can give us hope and gratitude, even if it just for a day or moment.

I hope your Thanksgiving is filled with love, laughter, and smiles; even if they must be from a distance.