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Last week, in anticipation of an unprecedented Thanksgiving experience, we published a special holiday blog post. The post was composed of crowdsourced stories, featuring individuals’ efforts to safely create positive experiences during a socially distanced time. Our first story came from Dianna Shaw, a Meals on Wheels volunteer driver in suburban Rhode Island. To recap, Dianna realized she would be the last or only person the seniors on her route would see the day before Thanksgiving; in light of this realization, Dianna reached out to her community to collect Thanksgiving cards for the seniors she serves. Recently, Dianna wrote a follow-up to that story, detailing the results of this experience:

“I would like to sincerely thank everyone for the huge outpouring of cards, notes, treats, cookies, chocolate, and gifts for The Meals on Wheels customers. I just got home from delivering and I can’t adequately express what a joy it was. I am truly amazed at the kind heartfelt notes the kids put in the cards. Several of my Meals on Wheels people got teary-eyed when I presented the care package. I heard several times today, that that they were going to open the surprise package tomorrow in order to have something to look forward to.

Collectively: 20 gifts and cards were given out by myself. An additional 60 (!) Thanksgiving Cards and boxes of Girl Scout cookies were distributed today by other volunteer drivers. It was a huge success. I also received a stash of Christmas/Happy Holidays cards. With this type of support, I am tempted to do it again in Dec for the winter holiday. Thank you so very much and Happy Thanksgiving to you all!”

Image provided by Dianna Shaw, of Dianna with crowdsourced Thanksgiving cards.

Thank you, Dianna, for sharing your story! Building relationships and creating opportunities for engagement are key positive experiences and two of the Building Blocks of HOPE, both exemplified in Dianna’s Thanksgiving efforts. Though this holiday season is challenging for families across America, we hope you find some joy and inspiration in this story of creative, safe connection, powered by the generosity of community.

Stories crowdsourced by Dr. Dina Burstein.

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