It’s hard to believe that when everyone receives next week’s edition of The Windham Eagle (arriving early in your mailboxes on Wednesday), preparations will be underway for Thanksgiving Day celebrations. I, for one, am astonished that most of us will be carving a turkey in less than a week - which will then open the doors to countless holiday parties and invitations.
As the excitement and holiday flurry begin, so will the increased invitation to help others who are facing hardships in various ways. This is an inspiring time of the year and the action to serve others falls under the true meaning of the season. But many among us have pointed out that we slide back into our old and comfortable ways after the tinsel, candles and lights are packed away for another year - foregoing the spirit of giving after the holidays are long gone.
Although there is truth in that statement – it’s been my observation that the spirit of giving continues in the Windham and Raymond communities beyond the holidays. I am lucky that I get to see these actions more frequently since many amazing stories land before me in my role as a writer and editor. As a result, I have the advantage to witness these good deeds more than the average person. I am often humbled by how this community digs deep, rolls up their sleeves to serve in ways that are needed and appreciated.
It is true that we are far from being the perfect community as we face many challenges – but that should not take away from the reality of our endeavors that create positive change and a better life for others. Here is a list of just a few examples this community provides for each other throughout the year:
*Weekly free Monday Meals provided by the collaborative efforts of area churches for all members in the Lakes Region.
*Local school efforts to help those in need such at Windham High School’s annual Powerserve in May.
*Raymond’s Age Friendly initiative that serves the older generation and fosters intergenerational community with intention of creating safe places for all.
*Various and almost weekly fundraising efforts by individuals, organizations and businesses that help victims of cancer, accidents, fires and more.
*The Windham and Raymond Food pantry and the organic, fresh vegetables given to them by local farmers and gardeners.
*This list could go on and on, but I only have limited space in which to share with you the many, many ways in which this community freely gives.
So, I’ve decided this Thanksgiving, when it comes time for me to express my gratitude, the one thing that I’ll be most grateful for is that I am part of an exceptional community that gives every day, keeping the spirit of the holidays going all year round.