The word Thanksgiving means "expression of gratitude, especially to God". It is a readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
This Thanksgiving season, consider cultivating an "attitude of gratitude" and give back to others in one of these six ways.
1. Donate to a local food drive. Collect non-perishable food items, cleaning supplies, and hygienic items such as shampoo, soap, & toothpaste. COVID-19 has made this year especially difficult for individuals and families in our communities. Your donations make a difference! Local collection sites:
St. Mary's Church in Brush - Fall Food Drive - for "The Community Cupboard" in Brush
Washington County Connections in Akron - Year-round donations - located on 1st Street, Akron, CO
2. Support a Seminarian. There is, perhaps, no better way of expressing our gratitude to our priests than by helping pass on their legacy of pastoral ministry to the priests of tomorrow. Be assured that your gift will serve a twofold purpose: expressing gratitude for today's priests and encouraging seminarians on their path to the priesthood. Please visit http://sjvrm.orgto donate today. Thank you.
3. Send a card to a Senior Center. Many assisted living and nursing homes are closed to visitors and must limit family member visits due to COVID-19 restrictions, which leaves seniors to spend the holidays alone. Consider taking the time to send a holiday card or organize a "greeting card shower" for the senior center or nursing home in your area. It's okay if you do not know a particular person. The care facilities will pass your greeting along to a senior in need of some holiday cheer --maybe send a thank you card to the staff as well.
4. Be Thankful. Say a prayer for someone you know, a person on the parish prayer list, or a general intention. Help your kids make a "thankful weave placemat" for your table, and write what they are grateful for on each slip. Supplies needed for the placemat: cardstock (various colors), scissors, marker, double-sided tape.
5. Volunteer for your church. The holidays are a busy time and this is true for the church with additional COVID-19 precautions in place. Perhaps extra cleaning is needed or help with drop-off delivery of food donations to the local food pantry. Participate in online church activities and your parish's local holiday drives for coats, pajamas, or flowers to stay connected and involved. Helping others helps kindle happiness –and supports your parish community. 6. Enjoy time with friends and family. Although gathering looks different this year, Thanksgiving is the perfect time to reach out to friends and family you may have lost touch with. Sharing memories and providing a supportive ear are great ways to help others, and reconnect with loved ones over the phone, email or online.