Let us give thanks.
On a day that is all about the harvest, the gathering of the things that will sustain us through the winter, it seems like a good time to gather in appreciation of the things that get us through our colder moments and to show our appreciation for them.
First and foremost, we give thanks for our families. I think not just of the people around my dining room table (OK, let’s be honest, around my mother’s living room, balancing plates while she reminds us to be careful of spills on the white carpet), but of the family of organizations that make almost everything possible in the Moshannon Valley.
Seriously, what can happen in Philipsburg without the YMCA of Centre County’s local branch? How can anything get done if Cen-Clear Child Services doesn’t participate? And is it a coincidence that families are at the heart of all of these service groups’ missions? Probably not.
Then there are our homes. It is hard to have a homecoming if you don’t have a roof to gather under.
God bless the firefighters and other emergency responders who keep those roofs safe.
There is the food on our tables. In an area where fully half of our children receive free or reduced lunches at school because of household income, the holiday meal is a luxury for many. We thank places like Community Action of Central Pennsylvania and the Osceola Mills Community Food Bank for helping bridge the gap between paychecks and empty tables.
There is our health. One of my favorite things about our community is that everyone is always willing to pull together to help someone who is sick or hurt or suffering. From the massive response to Emily Whitehead’s cancer and subsequent groundbreaking treatment to a spaghetti dinner to help someone hurt in an accident, there is always someone stepping up to say, “What can we do?” when somebody is in need.
We give thanks for the natural beauty that surrounds us. Our household incomes might not rival big city salaries, but the views are something you can’t sticker with a price tag.
So, as we take this day to celebrate with family (OK, again, let’s be honest, there’s probably some bickering and a lot of football going on, too), let’s look around at our neighbors and our neighborhoods and give thanks for them, too.
Happy Thanksgiving, Centre County.