Giving Thanks

As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Marian Frattarola-Saulino, shares a message of gratitude for the Values Into Action community and encourages us all to give back to our communities in some way.

Video Transcript

Happy Thanksgiving Values Into Action Community.

This is my monthly Vlog and I’m going to focus on the American holiday we call Thanksgiving. So, it did a bit of research because it’s been a long time since I’ve been in school, and I found that there are several different variations on the story of the first Thanksgiving.

Some stories say that it was English colonists sharing an Autumn Harvest with the Wampanoag tribe in what is now, Massachusetts. While others believe that it was Spanish Settlers celebrating the settlement of what is now Saint Augustine in Florida with the native to moot can people.

So interestingly there’s variations on this story, but at the heart of the stories that I was able to find they all involved people coming together sharing a meal and fellowship in peace, and it was a celebration from each person’s perspective of being thankful for all they had, and it was the land, it was the food, it was the Harvest, it was the sharing of the food, and the community that was built.

So that got me thinking that as with the first celebrations many of us continue to use the occasion of Thanksgiving to express our gratitude and appreciation. So, we often say thank you to each other for various things including maybe when we’re eating together and we’re passing food or we’re out together and we buy each other some food.

But the holiday of Thanksgiving really compels us to express that gratitude and I think for some of us we express that in different ways. I found this quote which you can’t see because if you know me (even a little you know), I really have like minimal technical skills, so I could not get this quote to fit the screen and I’ll just read it to you. It says “Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action.”

I thought what better quote to share with our community because we are all about action. So, I want to say thank you to each and every one of you. Each and every member of this organization contributes so much of themselves. Whether it be you’re accepting support in partnership with your staff and others who work for values. Whether you’re a family member and you continue to trust us to do right by for and with your loved one, or whether you’re somebody who works here and works in support of someone with a disability and their family and you’re bringing your knowledge, skills, and expertise.

You’re giving of your time and of yourself and all that kind of coming together and seeing how each of us contributes and makes the community better makes, this organization better, and sets the example for others in our communities, in other organizations, in the disability support space. You are modeling what it means to truly work together to help people accomplish what it is they want, and to live the lives of their own design, and of their own choosing, and it’s a very powerful example.

Time and again, each of us goes above and beyond and so in thinking about this Thanksgiving message and expressing gratitude, I also hope to encourage each of us to think about what we can do on Thanksgiving that expresses that gratitude maybe in a way differently than we show it other days of the year. In this version of Action Speaks, you will see information on food banks that are located throughout our great Commonwealth. No matter where you live or work in Pennsylvania, you will have information about resources that are right in or near your community. So perhaps you can think about either making a donation to that food bank or donating some of your time either in the next few days or even on Thanksgiving because there are community members who need basic support. We are so fortunate to have what we have, so think about it.

But most of all I want you to really hear me say thank you. I hope that that means something to you because it means so much to me to be able to express this to you. It means so very much to me and to my family that we are part of this community and that we are working together and that we have so much to be thankful for on this Thanksgiving holiday.

So perhaps like the people at that first Thanksgiving meal (wherever that was) we can express gratitude and appreciation and share food and fellowship together. I know what our home on Thursday, I will be thinking about you. I will be thinking about the values community, and I will be grateful. I hope every day to express that appreciation in ways that people can see and feel and truly understand how valued you are.

Have a wonderful holiday and may Thanksgiving be the start of a wonderful winter holiday season that fills your life your home your family your space with joy, love, and laughter.


The Values Into Action Community gathered resources for ways to get involved and give back across the commonwealth.