Thanks and giving

Thanksgiving is a time to express our gratitude for what we have received yearlong in the presence of family and friends. This time offers us an opportunity to reflect on the charitable favor we have been given—a generous donor and a volunteer community who has dedicated years to our mission of creating lasting change.

This particular holiday, on this centennial year, gives pause to think about our 100 years of serving children, youth, and families in need. We’ve seen children abandoned by parents, others who have faced violent tragedies, and those who suffer from emotional turmoil. We’ve worked with youth who have left the foster care system and faced homelessness, battled mental disorders or struggled with maintaining employment. We’ve served families who have been distraught by traumatic situations, impacted by mental illness, and challenged by children enduring behavioral issues. At the end of the day, we have remained hopeful for each one. Each child, youth or family has been effectively touched by our staff’s expert care, compassion, and dedication to meet their individual needs.

How is it that we are able to do this for 100 years? Thanks and giving. Our founder Deaconess Evelyn Wile laid the foundation for the charitable work we do in our community. She demonstrated thanks to every person, church, company, organization, and foundation that supported Hillsides mission. Our donors and volunteers’ commitment to continually give to our mission has enabled us to continue to the do the individualized treatment for each child, youth, and family. We continue to give thanks. The giving pledges of support that we receive from you help us ensure our clients’ well-being, safety, and permanency. Giving keeps the hope alivefor thousands each year.

There is a movement spearheaded by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffet called the Giving Pledge that was featured on “60 minutes” recently. Two requirements must be met to be part of this movement: individuals must have an excess of one billion dollars in wealth and be willing to give half of it away to charity. Buffet says that the wealth has no real utility to billionaires, but that “wealth has incredible utility to other people. It can educate children, it can vaccinate children. It can do all kinds of things.” Billionaires like the Gates and Buffet realize that government alone cannot solve the world’s problems. Philanthropists who have wealth can influence and collaborate with foundations and charities to problem-solve today’s issues.

Those who pledge to Hillsides understand that their philanthropic giving means providing hope and changing the lives of other people—children who have never had childhoods can regain them, youth who have lived under bridges or on the streets can find a safe apartment, and familieswho have been torn apart by domestic violence can break the cycle for generations who follow. This is the utility to other people, to organizations like Hillsides.

As you read this blog post, let’s imagine a virtual table where we can give thanks together for what we share in common: People. People who demonstrate unconditional support for the work we do, who improve our lives, and who dedicate time to serve. Let us also be mindful that the givingpledges we receive for our programs and services to children, youth, and families in need enhances and strengthens the quality care we provide. May we continue to share a bountiful table of thanks and giving.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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