I recently participated in a local conference where I had the opportunity to interview an eighth-grader. The assignment was to describe a time when he felt most connected to the community. He told me several stories, all involving good deeds he’d done to help others through local nonprofit organizations … participating in a food pantry, rescuing lost dogs, cleaning up neighborhoods. His heart, at the young age of 13, was centered on helping others. I thought about our conversation for days after and about how that sense of deep connection through helping others abides in the nonprofit sector. For this, I am especially grateful.
The giving hearts in our nonprofit sector and community never cease to amaze me. Each year at Thanksgiving, our team at NLC shares the moments and people we’re most grateful for in our lives. We thank you for your friendship and partnership this year and hope you’ll join us in sharing an attitude of gratitude each and every day.
35 Years of Marriage
“I have so many things to be grateful for in 2019 – and for that I am grateful. If I have to pick one, I’d say it is for the 35 years of marriage I’ve shared with my soulmate, life partner and extraordinarily talented husband Jim Connors. We celebrated this year by hiking more than 60 miles of trails in our happy place, Glacier National Park in Montana. While it feels like yesterday that we met in the cello section of the Amherst-Mt. Holyoke College Orchestra, remembering the adventures behind us and imagining those ahead of us bring joy like nothing else.”
Emily H. Benham, CEO
“I’m incredibly grateful for my husband who supports my dreams. From driving me to and from races and taking charge of house duties while I’ve transitioned into a new job to being a sounding board for anything and everything, I don’t know what I’d do without him!
“I’m also thankful for the nonprofit community being so welcoming! From the moment I stepped into my new role at NLC, I’ve met so many nonprofit leaders and cannot begin to explain the warm welcomes and kind words I’ve received!”
Jessica Dvoracsek, Fellow in Resource Development
The Gift of Giving
“I am especially grateful that children can learn early in their lives about the gift of giving and how important it is to give. My 9-year-old grandson who lives in Hawaii recently embodied this while visiting local care homes and handing out flowers to individuals who live there. I was so happy to hear this and receive pictures of him approaching complete strangers and asking if they’d like a flower. My heart sang! This Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for the children of the world who dare to step out of their comfort zone and receive the gift of giving by giving something of themselves.”
Lorraine Faithful, Operations Manager
A Community of Caring
“I’m grateful for the support of people in my life who have journeyed with me through all the joys and challenges. This year, I’m especially grateful for the opportunity to continue to serve the nonprofit sector in my new role at NLC. As a new member of the team, it has been a gift to be welcomed into and mentored by a great team of nonprofit leaders. Having worked in the nonprofit sector in several other communities and states, I’m consistently struck by the goodness, giftedness and collaboration that exists in our sector in this community. I’m also grateful for the marriage of my niece and my new nephew-in-law this year!
“I will reflect on these blessings and many more as I gather to enjoy Grandma Marie’s Sicilian rice and sausage stuffing at the center of the table with the turkey surrounded by family and friends this Thanksgiving.”
Charlie Imbergamo, Director of Strategic Programs
“When it comes to being thankful, the creation of nature is probably at the top of my list. It’s beyond splendorous to me, because there are so many different types of features that correlate with the word nature. There are clouds, trees, sunsets/sunrises, and many more. Everything is absolutely amazing to me and it leaves my face with the biggest smile. Nature, overall, gives me a warm feeling that beauty is still left in the world. My favorite sceneries have to be in Iceland: blue lagoons, Northern Lights, beautiful skies, glaciers and waterfalls. I can truly say that nature is something I’m very thankful for.
Taghiyana Wells, Intern
Moments that Stick
“Over the years, I’ve created my own version of sharing what I treasure. It’s a bunch of different colored sticky notes on my desk with little scribblings that highlight moments of gratitude. Each one is different and special: notes from a conversation I’ve had with those who cross my path at NLC, a book recommendation, a great yoga instructor, organizations doing interesting things, must-see-documentaries — you name it. Seeing them makes me grateful for the wisdom we each hold in our heads and our hearts. I’m so grateful for each of the people and conversations that resulted in a sticky note to add to the collection.”
Laurel Westmoreland, Education and Data Manager