Like many on this Thanksgiving Day 2022, I’m thankful for so many things in my life, especially my family and my passionate work as a writer and activist for children with disabilities and their families.

That said, I’ve experienced another year of great success, and profound losses.

So, perhaps I’m especially mindful of and grateful for all those human beings that will continue to work tirelessly behind the scenes when many others go back to business-as-usual tomorrow. They will do their work on Friday, and the day after that, and the week after that, and on and on to fight for causes that impact the most vulnerable.

Need doesn’t take a holiday.

These people help ensure the hungry are fed, that challenged children get the same life opportunities as others, that the dying get to do so with dignity and good care and not alone, and that abused children are seen and believed. These worker bees coordinate blood drives, stock food banks, deliver meals to the homebound, teach our children priceless lessons about diversity and more, including about Indigenous people, protect our communities and country and tend to the sick and injured.

They help abused animals find loving homes. They help ensure senior citizens and the homeless and others living in isolation are seen and supported in some way. They uphold truth and justice and our democracy when all seems threatened. There is so much need in our country and in our world. It’s easy to lose hope. Instead, we need to pause and reflect. So many unsung individuals continue to stand up daily to take on worthy causes to ensure the toughest human needs are met.

Today, I pause to remember how thankful I am for the work each one does silently behind the scenes, or while boldly speaking up when others remain silent. I’m beyond grateful for all the youth that helped get out the vote.

And while I care about your causes and I want to know more about how you birthed and fueled them, I also want to hear the stories of those directly impact by those efforts. I want to see their faces. If they’re willing and able.

On this day of Thanksgiving, passionate advocates give me a reason to continue my own fights for equality for those with disabilities. They fuel hope.

When this day draws to a close, our real challenge will be to carry our thanks-giving focus into our everyday lives, and to teach those critical lessons to our children. The future. Those are the kind of efforts that will help heal this wounded world.

Heart. Love. Kindness. Gratitude. Equality. Respect. Truth. Volunteerism. Your time? It all matters. Perhaps we can carry that into tomorrow’s daily routine and work world.

Happy Thanksgiving to each of you, especially those fearless Earth Angels. You know who you are.

Thank you.

Who deserves your words of thanks this year?