It's a bit hard to believe that 11 consecutive years have gone by where I have had the privilege to come together with others and give part of my day to give back on Thanksgiving. This year, my cousin and our amazing friend manned the food stations to serve up some good eats. Originally posted on 'corn duty,' I ended up swapping shortly thereafter with my cousin who found mixing up the stuffing to be quite taxing physically. And she was absolutely right- I got my workout in for the day hands down.
Seeing so many different faces and making eye contact to greet each expression with kindness & compassion was the biggest blessing of all. Some had nothing to say except with their eyes of gratitude. Others had everything to say including asking for just a bit more because why not? Whether it was small conversation or a simple greeting, gestures of reassurance, the respect of acknowledging someone's dignity, humor, grace, or any other accommodating welcoming, all guests were made to feel accepted and at home as any guest should...
The next best thing was meeting so many dedicated volunteers who all shared the same heart for wanting to reach out and come together as a community. Taking care of ourselves can also mean taking care of our souls. Having endless opportunities to be good to others helps spread joy and gratitude that has a way of making the world a better place. So, to all the volunteers who not only volunteer on this day but many other days out of the year, month, week, and even day, thank you!
Finding my way to the path of a cause- driven artist and being in the trenches as a volunteer has been a calling waiting for me to answer for quite some time. I am grateful to my grandparents who gave me the gift of knowing what it truly feels like to serve others with an open heart. And, as for everything else that comes my way from this core value- it's just 'gravy' (pun intended).