The Star’s editorial board is yielding our Thanksgiving Day editorial space to our faithful letter writers, who keep up a lively conversation on the topics of the day. Today’s topic is thanks, of course, and readers generously shared their many reasons for counting their blessings. We’d like to say “thanks” to all of you. The letters page is our public square, and we are grateful to our readers and correspondents for keeping it vibrant.
With the holidays quickly approaching, many of us are planning upcoming festivities. What we don’t take the time to consider are those in our community who are struggling to provide for themselves and their families day to day, let alone on these anticipated holidays.
Local nonprofit organizations work tirelessly this time of year to assist less-fortunate families. Thanksgiving and Christmas require concentrated volunteer effort from the community to meet their goals. Without additional help, not everyone can be served. With just the commitment of an hour you can make a significant difference.
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This holiday season, one should look beyond self to consider the circumstances of those around them and focus on giving back rather than receiving.
Volunteering can be a very rewarding and enriching experience. These simple acts of kindness can bring repose, happiness and well being to the community as a whole.
This year, give the gift of giving to those in need.
Surviving a stroke
I am a stroke survivor of seven years. On the day of my stroke, the good Lord sought to save my life.
I came within minutes of dying. Since then, I have gone from being bedridden to walking unassisted.
I am so grateful to live in such a kind, caring and patient community as Kansas City. People almost always open doors for me and give me words of encouragement.
My fellow church members continually pray for me. My friends and family dutifully display love and affection. I also have been given four new grandchildren during my seven years of recovery.
Praise the good Lord.
Gift of education
Education and time are of utmost importance for my family. For our children’s early education, we chose a private school, but our family was struggling to manage time around formal education and activities outside of school. I started researching online schools, looking for a system that would give us structure but still allow flexibility. Kansas Connections Academy’s services matched our educational needs.
We enrolled our boys last year and found the exceptional skills and warmth of the teachers helped them thrive in their new school environment.
Initially, I was concerned about how attending school online would affect my extrovert children. I was pleasantly surprised that the school holds weekly LiveLessons and offers clubs, electives and field trips to accommodate students statewide. It has been a rewarding experience being our boys’ learning coach and part of the Kansas Connections Academy family. I enjoy watching my children grow into smart, independent, confident and charming young men. I am thankful to God for his blessings, my children for their hard work, my family and friends for their support and Kansas Connections Academy for giving us this educational opportunity.
I want to express thanks for my wife, Angela, who has been with me through thick and thin and all of the health concerns I have. She has been my rock.
Without her I would not have my stepchildren and grandchildren. James and Latonya are my children, and Joshua and Jalesa are my grandchildren.
I love them all, and they bring me joy. My shih tzu, Gator, has been great company as I recuperate from knee surgery.
Family is what’s really important, and you can’t buy it no matter how much money you have.
Michael L. Walker
I do believe that Thanksgiving is one of the happiest days of the year, although every day has tremendous possibilities for hearing and giving thanks.
This exciting day has us going in wonderful areas, giving thanks.
We give thanks that a smile goes with “thank you” and that the lives of others are touched favorably. We give thanks for life and good health and for knowing how to keep it.
We are thankful for spiritual blessings and how to continue receiving them.
We are thankful for our country and for the privilege of serving in the military. We are thankful for loved ones and friends and for continued relationships.
We are thankful for our freedoms and for our desire to keep them. We are thankful that we can help others and have the desire to know their needs.
We are thankful for parents and for their power to guide and encourage goodness. We are thankful that we can laugh and smile and know their healing power on others.
Joy of gratitude
We hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give in life and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich. We can either see the connections, celebrate them and express gratitude for our blessings, or we can see life as a string of coincidences that have no meaning or connection.
I choose to believe in miracles, celebrate life and rejoice for life beyond in eternity with God, and I pray my choices will have a positive, affirming effect on others.
Gratitude and attitude are not challenges, they are choices. Things turn out best for people who make the best of the way things turn out. Each of us can turn our lives around by consistently reflecting on our blessings.
G.K. Chesterton said, “I would maintain that thanks is the highest form of thought and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”
There are times for all of us that our own light seems to go out and is rekindled by a spark from a friend. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted a flame within us.
It is not happy people who are thankful. It is thankful people who are happy.
Michael R. Shirley
I’m sitting for a moment reflecting on the generosity of our customers.
They gathered coats and sweaters, and not well-used-won’t-wear-it coats and sweaters. Really, really great coats and sweaters.
Wool. Down. Fleece. Silk.
Coats and sweaters that can immediately be worn by the women at Rose Brooks Center — 420 coats and sweaters. Plus some scarves, hats, gloves and children’s coats.
For a sixth year we put out the call. New and gently used winter coats and sweaters are always a great need for the women and children seeking shelter from domestic violence.
And like the great, gentle, giving heart that we know is Kansas City, our World’s Window customers responded with donations that will wrap our “sisters” in warmth this winter and for the holiday season.
For this I am so grateful. That my retail store of more than 30 years can be a conduit for the giving hearts of Kansas City is my Thanksgiving.
Thanks to Mary Sanchez for reminding us of the injustice perpetrated on Japanese-Americans interred in camps in 1942 (11-21, A2, “Will we repeat injustice of 1942?”).
It seems we might repeat that injustice if the desperation and suffering of so many fail to break through irrational fear and delusional thinking.
Imagine if we had sequestered Oklahomans after the April 19, 1995, Timothy McVeigh attack and advocated the closing of Christian churches because of a belief that they were responsible for radicalizing a homegrown terrorist.
Recognizing there is risk in welcoming the stranger, perhaps we can concentrate on the Prayer of St. Francis, in part, “Make me a channel of your peace, where there is hatred let me sow love; where there’s despair in life let me bring hope ...” and as a nation provide a refuge for the oppressed.
Grateful to Mr. K.
With all the excitement of the Kansas City Royals these past two years, the World Series win and the great turnout for the parade and celebration, one important factor seems to have been overlooked.
Obviously, we all know that Ewing Kauffman (Mr. K) founded the team.
What many do not know or perhaps have forgotten is that he never sold the team.
That’s right, he donated the team to the Kansas City community.
He did this through the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, which then sold the team, with the proceeds going to the community.
That’s not all.
Mr. K did this with the provision that whoever purchased the team had to keep it in Kansas City.
Mr. K would commend the David Glass family for sticking to that even through the lean years and for having the foresight to hire someone as knowledgeable as Dayton Moore to build this team.
But it is important to remember that would never have happened without Ewing Kauffman’s act of gratitude to the fans of this area.