This is one of my favorite weeks of the year.
For years, one of our family's habits on Thanksgiving has been to make a list of the things we're thankful for.
It might sound a little like counting our blessings, but I think of it more as a way to be consciously reflective of—through good years and bad—how much there can be to be grateful for.
Last year, we confronted some pretty serious health issues, and it was a reminder of how thankful I was that we all reached the end of the year together in good health.
And I think, for me, that's one reason why I start thinking pretty hard at this time of year—when temperatures drop, when family and friends feel closer, when the world seems to slow down a little bit—about how to redirect that gratitude into generosity.
One of the things I'm grateful for is to live in the volunteer state and in a city that so often comes together to do important things.
If you find yourself in town and blessed with enough to offer—time or money—here are some ideas:
- There are still a few volunteer opportunities left through Hands On Nashville this week. One of the best options is Dismas House's community dinners.
- I miss the Searcy Memorial Thanksgiving Dinner (on hold since the tornado and COVID), but I'm glad that Donelson Cafe and Catering offers their Truly Thankful Thanksgiving. The volunteer spots are full, but you can donate.
- The Cold Weather Community Response Plan is in effect for the season, and you can support the organizations that make it work.
- If you've been down to 2nd Avenue recently, you know that we're still rebuilding and restoring. You can help!
- We've seen violence linked to both anti-semitism and anti-LGBT sentiments. This is a good time to support organizations like the Jewish Federation and Jewish Foundation of Nashville & Middle Tennessee and Inclusion Tennessee.
- Fight flu! This is a bad year for flu, and you can protect yourself and your family—kids, grandparents, anyone who's immunocompromised if you get vaccinated.
As you look ahead, if you're going to shop this weekend, I recommend Small Business Saturday to Black Friday. The statistics of how much money stays in the community when we shop local is staggering.
Even better than shopping, though, is Giving Tuesday. I'm particularly fond of the reflection of Thanksgiving resulting in support for the Native American Indian Association of Tennessee.
Regardless, I hope you find friends, family, or any part of your community that helps you find something to be grateful for.
My best ...
Metro Council, District 19
Mayoral Candidate, 2023