From the Desk of Dr. Hudson: United in Gratitude

Published on November 24, 2021 in , , , ,

As the holiday season approaches, nostalgia settles upon us, and we are reminded of what is most important: each other.

We have faced so much as a community just in this last year alone.  But as we continue the journey ahead, we’re grateful to do so together — just as we have always done.

The challenges of the pandemic —coupled with the painful examples of ongoing systemic racism, unrest and injustice we face — have taken a mental and emotional toll on us all.

While some may tend to busy schedules, bustling store runs, and holiday meal planning, others will try to withstand the pressure of caring for loved ones and their children, the anxiety of juggling bills, and all while navigating mental health impacts that the pandemic still contributes to today.

What I do know is that while we are all experiencing this holiday season in varying ways, it is that shared experience  that grounds us as a community, gives us the strength to lean to one another, and unites us in the way forward.

Those very challenges and experiences bring us to where we stand today and allow us to find gratefulness in the midst of what may feel like hopelessness.

It’s been a difficult year. There’s so much to be concerned about, and to fight for, and so much work to be done. But right now, let’s take a moment to recognize, amidst all the challenges, the things that we have to be grateful for.

This season is about our human connection, shared experiences, and how they shape who we are as a community that remains committed to lifting one another, time and time again.

I am so hopeful and inspired by the ways we’ve continued to come together for one another over this past year. Through disaster and crisis, from neighbor to neighborhood — we are united.

For that and so much more, we have reason to be thankful.

As we embrace a new sense of normalcy, know that United Way will continue to work to lift families out of crisis and foster equitable communities where all households are stable, and every child can thrive.

If you or someone you know is struggling or in need, reach out. Your health and wellbeing are important. A phone call to United Way’s 2-1-1 helpline could provide help and stability.

You never know who may be counting on your generosity. If you have the gift of time, share it with our community. There are several volunteer opportunities available to you during the holidays and beyond.

Please, take care of yourself and each other. May we all be anchored in compassion, care, and grace.

It is a privilege to Live United and Light the Way for our community. Your support makes it all possible. We are thankful for you this and every day.

From our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving.

Darienne Driver Hudson, Ed.D.
President and CEO
United Way for Southeastern Michigan