Why I’m Thankful
I know it’s hard at times to be thankful in a world filled with pain and suffering. Just this morning I turned on the news to learn that Turkey shot down a Russian warplane. My first thought was, “Is this the spark to ignite an all-out war?” I’m working with Elder Gaston to plan a memorial service on December 21st to remember fellow citizens who died homeless in our community over the past year. As you may have seen in the news, Men’s Shelter of Charlotte has neighbors who have decided we must move so they’re property values, and therefore their wealth, can increase. My wife just learned that the son of a dear friend who has leukemia may not live to see this Thanksgiving. So much pain and suffering in the world.
Yet, I’m thankful. Very thankful. Why? Well, here are five quick reasons why I’m thankful this year.
5. There are great organizations, like Church World Service (global) and ReEstablish Richmond (Richmond, VA) working to resettle refugees from the Syrian crisis as well as those facing persecution around the globe.
4. Modern medicine continues to make major breakthroughs, whether its an improved vaccine to help Rotary finally eradicate polio world-wide, or an experimental vaccine for HIV that will potentially offer great relief to our own community which has one of the highest incident rates in North Carolina.
3. My family is healthy and happy. My wife and I are about to celebrate four months of matrimony and this week we celebrate the one-year anniversary of my son’s decision to be Baptized by faith.
2. Men’s Shelter of Charlotte has an incredibly committed staff (Happy 7th MSC Anniversary Anita!) and since 2012 we’ve moved over 1,500 men home while reducing demand for emergency shelter beds by 45%.
And #1. Charlotte is a truly wonderful, compassionate city – a great place to live, work, and play. Yes, there are some who would rather hide our homeless or discriminate against them as citizens. However, there are far more advocates – the faith community, Charlotte Center City Partners, Foundation for the Carolinas, City of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, United Way of Central Carolinas, etc. – supporting MSC and other service providers in our work to end homelessness in our community.
Mostly, I’m thankful God has blessed me to be a husband, a dad, and the leader of the Men’s Shelter of Charlotte. Please take a moment today and count your own blessings, if you try you will find they are many. Happy Thanksgiving and thank you for supporting the Men’s Shelter of Charlotte and our mission to end homelessness by moving men home.