Each Thanksgiving season, we find ourselves reflecting with gratitude on the good fortunes in our life.
I am thankful for my beautiful children, for my wonderful family and friends, for my health and my home, for an amazing team at United Way Halton & Hamilton, and for a fulfilling, challenging and rewarding job that makes a difference in the community in which I live.
I hope your list is long, too. But we know that’s not true for many in our community.
This past 18 months has been the most challenging in modern memory and some have borne the brunt of what this pandemic has wrought much more than others.
So, at this time of year, as we measure our own gratitude, we must also think about those who aren’t as fortunate. Many living precariously have seen their circumstances drastically worsen throughout COVID-19. Others have been forced into crisis and hardship for the very first time.
Those living in poverty or from marginalized groups or those struggling with mental illness, homelessness, addiction, domestic violence or social isolation have carried the heaviest burden during this pandemic.
It is fitting that October also marks Mental Illness Awareness Week (Oct. 4-10), World Food Day (Oct. 16) and International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (Oct. 17). All of these issues have only been exacerbated by COVID-19 and without concerted action, we face a pandemic of social hardship and suffering among our friends and neighbours.
Adding to my gratitude list, I am thankful to live in a place of Local Love, a place where people have come together to care for one another through this crisis, a place where compassionate and generous people work on the frontlines of community agencies dedicated to caring for those in need.
There is a long road ahead but the devotion to community, resilience and fortitude shown in all parts of Halton and Hamilton means we can emerge from the shadow of COVID-19 better than we were before.
United Way’s 2021 campaign tagline says it all: United in Local Love. Join the recovery.
When you make a gift today, you are investing in three critical areas of focus:
- Meeting basic, fundamental needs
- Tackling local poverty, discrimination and inequity at its root
- Supporting an equitable recovery
Your United Way will play a leadership role in our community’s recovery by fulfilling our mission to bring people and resources together to build strong, healthy, and safe communities for all. We do that by taking an evidence-based approach to build capacity, amplify impact, and solidify collective action.
As you celebrate this Thanksgiving season, please consider putting your gratitude into action by contributing to our 2021 fundraising campaign.
We simply cannot do the work we do without our donors. Whether you can donate $5 or $50,000, you will make a difference in someone’s life and you will help our community set out on a course of recovery and rebuilding.
From all of us at United Way Halton & Hamilton, we wish you a very happy Thanksgiving.