Gratitude is an Understatement

Emily H. Benham, CEO Stories

I think we can all agree that 2020 has been a wild ride, with many unexpected twists and turns, hardships and silver linings. Taking all of this into account, our team at the Nonprofit Leadership Center is ever mindful of and profoundly grateful for the many things, big and small, that have enriched, supported and comforted us all this year.

Each year at Thanksgiving, Team NLC shares the moments and people we’re most grateful for in our lives. We thank you for your friendship and partnership during this difficult year and always as we continue to develop and connect nonprofit leaders to strengthen organizations and our communities.

Slowing Down to Appreciate the Simple Things

“Being confined at home for the past eight months with my cellist husband Jim, college student son Josh and always ebullient lab Cassie has, in many ways, truly been a blessing for me. It has allowed me to slow down to appreciate the bird sitting on the palm frond on my home office window sill, or our neighbor walking his dog, or the smell of something being freshly baked by one of my family members. This house, this home, has seen a lot of living in the 27 years we’ve owned it, but sometimes we just moved too fast though it. It has kept us safe and comfortable, providing a haven in an unpredictable world. For that, I am grateful.”

Emily H. Benham, CEO


Spending More Time at Home

“I am especially grateful for my home this year — a place where I spend more time than ever because of the pandemic, and a place where I realize over and over again that my heart is embedded in so many places. Surrounding me are my red canary, blooming flowers and lush plants, family photos, things I bought because they made me smile, and a working laptop and smartphone to keep me close to friends and family.”

“My home is much more than walls and a roof with furniture, because I have filled it with love, lovely things and happy memories of times when visitors were safe to travel to stay with me. Spending more time at home has allowed me to recognize a new appreciation for life itself, and to recognize how fortunate I am to have a home, to love my home and to be safe at home.”

Lorraine Faithful, Operations Manager


Health, Service & Support

“I am most grateful for my physical and mental health, for the opportunity to serve the nonprofit sector, and for the growth in our community and beyond due to our agility and perseverance in a very challenging year.

“I am grateful to my family, friends and teammates for their support and encouragement.

“Lastly, I am grateful for newfound opportunities to recharge and relax during downtime, especially spending time on the water.”

Charlie Imbergamo, Director of Strategic Programs


Working Differently

“In addition to the gratitude for my and my family’s health this year, I’m most grateful that NLC has continued to operate through the pandemic and for my continued employment here. I was six weeks into my new role with NLC when COVID-19 required many offices to close and changed the everyday realities for many businesses and nonprofits. Given that much of NLC’s work focuses on in-person learning experiences, I was concerned that I might be out of a job. I’m grateful NLC redirected to virtual operations so quickly and that I’m able to support our nonprofit communities from my home office.”

Carina Kleter, Program Associate


My Sixth Sense

“This year, I’m extra grateful for my sixth sense — my sense of humor! With so much swirling around us these days, I’ve found humor to be a comforting home base to return to again and again. Laughter is always there for me throughout the day, almost like it’s just waiting to bubble to the surface at any opportunity, especially with my son and doggie as constant companions! It’s helpful to appreciate life’s little bits of fun, because if we’re open to them, they’re still there for us, no matter what else might be going on.” 

Laurel Westmoreland, Education and Data Manager


Be the first to hear about the latest nonprofit tips, resources and training classes at NLC by signing up to receive our weekly NLC e-newsletter. It will help you thrive personally and professionally as you work to strengthen our communities.