Today, I'm writing thank-you notes.
Yes, Mom, I'm writing thank-you notes and you didn't have to stand over me.
I'm writing thank-you notes because I'm truly thankful. Not that I'm not thankful when I've been treated to dinner, spent a lovely weekend at a friend's home, or given a necktie for my birthday.
Today I'm writing thank-you notes because I just received the first two donations toward Pownal's Spirit of Sharing holiday program. The wonderful faculty and staff of the Pownal Elementary School, along with a bunch of us in town, are raising money, and recruiting shoppers, wrappers and deliverers for holiday packages for children of families in need.
This year, we're not relying at all on state or federal programs. There are too few of those dollars to go around. Instead, this is a very personal initiative - neighbors helping neighbors.
Long before there were state and federal assistance programs, that's what we did here in Vermont. We helped our neighbors. We understood that a community is composed of all walks of life. That some would inevitably be better off than others.
But we are all neighbors. Nobody cares how much or how little money you make when you're both holding a fire hose; when you're responding to a medical emergency as an EMT; or singing a hymn in church.
That's who we are. That's what we do.
I'm looking forward to writing thank-you notes to my neighbors throughout the holiday season.