No duty is more urgent than giving thanks. James Allen

The Greatest Duty is Giving Thanks

Team NLC Stories

At the Nonprofit Leadership Center, we believe gratitude is one of the secret ingredients to success. During this season of giving, Team NLC reflects on the moments, memories and people we’re most grateful for in 2022. Our deep gratitude extends to you, our nonprofit partners, supporters and community leaders, who help strengthen nonprofit organizations and our communities alongside us every day.

Here’s to the Helpers

“This year, I am especially grateful for the helpers: the teachers, nurses, doctors, volunteers, friends, strangers, power company workers, and people who choose to work in the nonprofit sector. Looking in the rear-view mirror, 2022 was filled with unimaginable challenges and shifts. From a waning pandemic and devastating hurricane in Florida to economic volatility and continued political and social unrest, it was like a game of Whack-a-Mole. Just as one issue or challenge was settled, another would pop up.

“But it was also a year of creative solutions, positive progress, joy and great accomplishments. Although none of us knows what 2023 has in store, no matter the challenge, I look forward to being surrounded by those who want to help, support and make things better. For the helpers, I am profoundly grateful.”

Emily H. Benham, CEO

Image of a car windshield where power trucks are lined up to help after Hurricane Ian

Bright Beginnings

“This year, I am grateful for family time and the opportunity to meet my new great-nephew, delayed by the pandemic. I am also grateful for the joy that a new puppy brings to the home! Wishing all many happy thanksgivings to come.”

Charlie Imbergamo, Director of Strategic Programs


Exploring New Destinations

“Travelling is so important because it allows us to embed ourselves in other cultures and meet locals. After nearly two years, I’m very grateful that COVID-19 travel restrictions to many international destinations were lifted in 2022. I have long wanted to visit Peru, and I had the opportunity to do so this summer. It is a beautiful place full of warm people (and more varieties of potatoes than I could have imagined!).”   

Carina Kleter, Program Associate

Image of a painted wall in Peru with a woman driving by on a scooter

The Epic to the Everyday

“Does it ever get old to say you’re grateful for family and friends? It doesn’t if it’s true, and I have the receipts. You see, I turned to my photos for inspiration. As I scrolled through the images on my phone, the moments I am most grateful for this year are deeply connected to the people I love. The list of images is long and ranges from big life events, like my goddaughter’s wedding, to simple things like walking through my mom’s neighborhood garden. Whether epic or everyday, these captured moments elicit joy, love and a dash of nostalgia. I am indeed grateful for family and friends. Thanks to them and our shared memories, I will enter 2023 with a happy heart.”

Meriel Martínez, Program Director

Image of a sign that says Enter with a Happy Heart

Celebrating New Norms

“This year, I am grateful for an opportunity to start developing new norms. While it feels good to be on the other side of 2020, I’d be remiss if I did not show gratitude for the lessons learned and the new norms it created in my life.

“I no longer take time with my loved ones for granted. Whether I am watching one of my children perform on stage, video chatting with a niece or nephew, or celebrating a milestone with family and friends, I find myself pausing to be present in the moment — in a more intentional way than I ever did before the pandemic. This new norm brings me infinite happiness as I remind myself to find joy in everyday interactions. There’s no need for grand gestures or pre-planned fun; being fully present is enough to make my heart full.

“I am also grateful to be a part of such a strong community dedicated to serving others. If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that we are social beings. Our interactions and continued care for each other help us survive and thrive. I am fortunate to work in a profession dedicated to serving others. I am also lucky to be an active volunteer with organizations whose missions align with my personal mission. Being deliberate with how I spend my time and energy has increased my quality of life, and I will always be grateful to be able to do what I love with those who enjoy it as much as I do.”

Jamiel Maze, MA, Resource Development Coordinator

Photo of a brother and sister hugging each other in the car
Pictured here are Jamiel’s daughter Mia and son Micah exchanging a hug early one morning at the airport before she returns to school out of state. They have come to really value each other and their time together during the past few years. 

Triumphing Through Challenges

“Looking back on 2022, this year was among the most challenging for me, from concluding a two-year Executive MBA program at the University of South Florida to starting my new role at the Nonprofit Leadership Center. I am grateful for the new friendships I’ve made and for the grace with which my colleagues have embraced me.

“All this is thanks to the support that my husband Rudi and my family provide to me. They are my inspiration and strength in every challenge I embark on. For that, I am especially grateful.”

Amarela Peqini, MBA, Business Operations Manager

Photo of the 2022 Executive MBA graduates from the University of South Florida
Photo of Amarela Peqini and her family, including her husband, mom and dad with Tampa Bay in the background

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.