This Thanksgiving we find ourselves grieving. How can we even experience gratitude? The holidays can be a difficult time for anyone who has experienced loss. The expectation is that we are to smile, laugh, and be filled with joy. It feels impossible to find a spirit of gratitude after such a tragic and senseless attack on our community. With so much pain and suffering all around us, how does one feel thankful?
The strongest foundational value at Family Promise is community involvement. This value captures a fundamental understanding that we are connected to one another. When one person is grieving the loss of a loved one, we all grieve. When one family is homeless, we all are hurting. Gratitude during difficult times does not replace grief or suffering. Instead, it arrives and resides next to our grief when we realize we do not suffer alone. This is what is happening in Waukesha now. Amidst the pain, sadness and loss there are stories of support, kindness, and encouragement and care being offered to one another. We are learning about the blessing that each of those who passed away were to their families, friends, and community.
Understanding that suffering and gratitude can reside side by side is a truth that Family Promise has known for years. For us, you are the source of our gratitude. You have offered support and kindness to families experiencing homelessness for years. In the midst of their suffering, you have offered support, kindness, encouragement and care. Thanksgiving is one of those days where we can’t help but notice and appreciate all of those around us who lift us up, give us hope, and inspire us. In recent days, it is natural to wonder if there is any remaining goodness in the world. To borrow a sentiment from Fred Rogers, when there is suffering there are always the helpers, first responders, volunteers, and small acts of kindness that bring healing. At Family Promise, those people are you! There are a lot more good people like you impacting this world in a positive way than anyone else.
On this day of giving thanks, we at Family Promise of Waukesha County thank you, our volunteers, donors, and supporters for ensuring that the families experiencing homelessness are not alone. We are extremely grateful for you! From all of us, we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!
Joe Nettesheim, Executive Director
Family Promise of Waukesha County
139 E North St
Waukesha, WI 53188