Many of you have remarked recently about how quickly Thanksgiving arrived. There certainly is a strange perception of the passing of time during the COVID-19 pandemic. This Thanksgiving though, we all are better equipped to fight the pandemic with vaccinations, safety protocols, a better understanding of how the disease progresses, and solid collaborations that have been built through the past 2 years. Throughout this difficult period, there is much to be thankful for.
I started writing out a gratitude list this week to combat a feeling of being overwhelmed by the enormity of needs and all the things to do. My gratitude list grew to 5 pages. Here are a few that I will share with you – and you are each a part of this list.
* Hospitality shown to all families throughout the pandemic in the FPL Shelter in Place Program by the partnering congregations of faith.
* Volunteers who reach out and serve with unmatched kindness and grace.
* The FPL network that includes congregations of faith, partnering human service agencies, Douglas County, and the City of Lawrence.
* C2C partners that meet regularly with families in program – to offer supports and a friendly understanding ear during a complicated and difficult period.
* The Eagle scouts that serve FPL in a marvelous range of creative services projects.
* The nurses and public health professionals who have directly guided FPL through all risk mitigation and safety procedures during this pandemic.
* The school and church groups that serve throughout the year with supply drives and work projects ranging from painting houses to raking leaves.
* The donors that give financially so that this work can continue to grow with the growing needs in our community.
* Business and organization partners that support the work through generous sponsorships, donations, and work projects.
* Ninth Street Missionary Baptist Church who give us the use of our Day Center and 4 apartments we are using for Shelter.
* Our National Family Promise organization, that supports 200 affiliates through the country to help us with tools, support, consultation, guidance, and inspiration to do more at the local level to serve families in our community.
* Community Partnerships with the Housing Stabilization Collaborative and the Kansas Emergency Rental Assistance Program.
* The City of Lawrence for the partnership opportunity to support the Winter Emergency Shelter for families this year and the churches willing to open their doors and the volunteers who will staff overnight and offer the beautiful gift of hospitality.
* The staff of FPL – full time and part time who show up daily for this good work.
* Our Board of Directors and committee members that lead our mission and vision
* The graduates of the program, who have heroically gone through a difficult period with their families and are giving back to the FPL work through volunteering, serving on committees, guiding, and advising procedural improvements, and for sharing their wisdom with us so we can improve our programs and service.
* connections and service throughout our community.
* Each of you.
FPL allows a natural community to grow, relationships to form, and an environment for creative solutions to issues and meaningful support to families to be developed with so many different people sharing skills, hospitality, grace, and generosity. Each of you are doing a part and together there is much to be thankful for.
Feeling very grateful for being part of this network.
Happy Thanksgiving FPL Network!