With Thanksgiving just a week away, the staff of the Nonprofit Leadership Center has paused to share some things we feel especially grateful for in 2014. We’re all grateful for the opportunity to work with the staff members and volunteers from so many worthy organizations. Thank you for all that you do for our community—and our world!
I recently enjoyed a two-week vacation in Hawaii where my son lives with his beautiful wife and my two adorable grandchildren. Of course I am grateful for being able to take this trip and spend time with them, since it had been 3 long years since my last trip to the Islands. And the bonus was that I met my granddaughter as a newborn and re-bonded with my 4-year old grandson! But when I can’t be with them, I realize how thankful I am for today’s technology, namely smartphones, the Internet, and Skype. I so often take them for granted, but because they keep me in touch with loved ones when we can’t physically be with each other and help us all feel connected when many months and thousands of miles separate us, I am grateful this year for these awesome capabilities and tools. — Lorraine
This Thanksgiving I’m feeling thankful for the arts, especially for those who teach the arts and are nurturing the next generation of artists—including the two who live under my roof. My children are learning from an amazing group that includes: an orchestra teacher and a chorus teacher in our middle school, two chorus teachers and one art teacher in our elementary school, and the children’s worship leaders at our church. To this group I say, “Thank you for your patience, creativity, and dedication.” The music that fills our home isn’t always perfect (have you ever heard someone learning to play the cello?), but is always heartfelt. Through music, my family is able to express joy and sadness and silliness. For this, I am deeply grateful. — Sara
As the “new kid on the block,” I’m grateful for generous and encouraging teammates here at the Nonprofit Leadership Center. I have been welcomed with open arms and encouraged at every turn (Thank you so much, Emily, Lorraine, and Sara. And to Ashley, my amazing and patient trainer, who has answered approximately 9 million questions in the last 34 days). As adults we spend so much of our waking life at the office, and so it’s important to me to work for a purpose, such as supporting the nonprofits who work tirelessly to improve our community, and in a positive environment. The NLC delivers both—in spades. And so, this Thanksgiving, I’m grateful to have found a home away from home at my new office. — Jennifer
I am grateful for laughter. It connects people in a most powerful way in a moment and then for days, weeks, or even years to come. This summer while visiting his uncle, my son Josh discovered the classic Saturday Night Live episodes. At first I was stunned and my parental instinct doubted the appropriateness of much of that material for my 15 year old. But I saw how he and his uncle would just say one word from a skit and burst into fits of laughter. Of course, my husband and I had long forgotten some of the antics of Gilda Radner and company, but Josh couldn’t wait to have us watch it again so that we could share in their mirth. Their fun became our fun; their laughter, our laughter. Some of our favorite parts were when the cast members broke character and started laughing uncontrollably themselves. Even now, many months later, there is hardly a day that goes by in our house that Debbie Downer is not referenced and reenacted for levity. So during the hurried holiday season—as we all race to meet our deadlines, both real and imagined—I hope that we remember to take a moment to see and to share a good laugh with a friend, family member, or co-worker. It is truly a tie that binds. — Emily