Time to give thanks
Nov 22, 2017 | 587 views | 0 0 comments | 36 36 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Thanksgiving weekend means a lot of things to a lot people. There’s the traditional Thursday dinner, when folks pause their regular routines to enjoy family and friends and give thanks for all they have. Tied up with that traditional day are a number of rituals that have come to define not just the next-to-last Thursday of November, but of the days and weeks surrounding it as well. There’s football, shopping, and travel. There’s also work, for many, as the retail and service industries attempt to cash in on the consumer culture that hits high gear during the holiday shopping season.

Because of so much going on it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season.

But it’s important not to lose sight of the giving of thanks that inspired Thanksgiving. As we said, much about the holiday is a chance to hit the pause button and take stock of what one has.

Something we want to recognize during this pause is to say thanks to all the volunteers here in the Deerfield Valley. We have so many of them, working for various groups and causes, that it becomes difficult to recognize them all. So we’ll give just a few examples, culled from recent local news .

Just this week, we wrote about a group of folks trying to rehabilitate the old Dutch Hill ski area in Readsboro. These volunteers are admittedly ones who love the outdoors and many who have a long-time relationship with the old ski area, but that doesn’t make it any less special. What’s amazing is the large amount of work they’ve done in a relatively short amount of time. That’s the power of a group working together, and we will all benefit from their efforts. Anyone who enjoys the outdoors should be thankful that this small group has been able to turn their passion into action for the betterment of many.

That’s often how things go around here, people selflessly taking something they believe in or enjoy and turning it into something to help others. The Hungry Lion bike ride and the food pantry benefit concert and motorcycle ride are three other things that come quickly to mind. But there are countless others as well.

Then there are the individuals. Take those who serve on local boards. Those who serve on school boards, selectboards, planning commissions, nonprofits, or any number of local boards often give countless hours in service to their respective community. This is all done with no pay, or at best a small stipend that doesn’t begin to fairly compensate someone for their time. Just recently, the valley lost three people who have served on numerous boards, committees, and nonprofits. Randall Terk, Kelly Pawlak, and Tom Baltrus served the community in a number of ways, from nonprofit and government boards to the chamber of commerce, snowmobile clubs, Rotary, and other volunteer groups. Each contributed greatly to the fabric of the community, and each will be missed for their service. Consider this a thank you to them and others who have served for their time and efforts to make the valley a better place.

While we’re at it, we can’t forget those who volunteer their time for local fire departments and rescue services. They are some of the valley’s biggest unsung heroes, and their efforts make the community a safer place for all of us. Those efforts often come at the worst times. In the middle of the night or during some of the worst weather imaginable, local emergency service volunteers are out helping people get out of trouble or stay safe. No one can predict when they will need help. Wouldn’t it be a shame if no one was there to offer it? That’s one reason why it’s so important to support local emergency services as much as possible, either through direct donations or other contributions.

So when giving thanks this weekend, take a minute to think beyond the immediate. Not that there’s anything wrong with being thankful for what one has close at hand. But by looking slightly further afield, one can see so many other things, big and small, to be thankful for.

Here’s wishing a happy Thanksgiving to all of our readers and advertisers. We are certainly thankful for all of your support, too.
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