This Thanksgiving our team is incredibly thankful for so many kindnesses, generosities and special friends who bring our work to life. We have the great privilege to work with scores of talented partners and leverage all sorts of new entrepreneurial models and innovations to address social challenges. It’s easy to get caught up in the process of work and just move from project to project without pausing to reflect on the successes, people, places and things – big and small – that make moving forward possible.
The upcoming holiday gave us the opportunity to reflect on what made 2009 such a great year here at the Case Foundation. From new technologies to key partners to the snacks and local haunts we could not live without, we had a great time putting this list together, and hope it inspires you to think about all of the wonderful things that you are thankful for this Thanksgiving, too!
Here are 25 things we’re thankful for this Thanksgiving:
- The opportunity to work with smart, fun and passionate colleagues and world-class partners.
- The courageous, selfless and dedicated veterans and active duty soldiers who serve our country and protect liberty with honor and valor.
- And, organizations like Give an Hour, IAVA, United Service Organizations (USO), Operation Homefront, and The Mission Continues that are helping our soldiers and their families.
- Miley Cyrus’s Party in the USA, which was the official theme song (at least in our office) of this year’s Giving Challenge.
The passionate cause champions and donors who helped raise $2.1 million from 105,000 donations for nonprofits in need in this year’s America’s Giving Challenge.
- And, our Giving Challenge partners who demonstrate that the real power of cross-sector partnerships come from the best and brightest organizations bringing their unique skills to the table. Thank you, PARADE, Causes, WK Kellogg Foundation and Aspen Institute.
- The Asian Sesame Mix, almonds and Veggie Stix in bulk from Costco. It helps us get through a lot of long meetings.
Great, free tools which make it easier for us to do our work, communicate with each other, our partners and our friends – like Twitter, UStream, Skype…
- And, Click Daly who helped to introduce new users of such tools to integrating them into their social media strategies.
- Of course, we’re grateful to See3 and Goldhirsh Foundation for making Click Daly possible and our fantastic Gear Up for Giving Gurus – Allison Fine, Geoff Livingston, Marnie Webb, Beth Kanter, Katya Andresen, Holly Ross, and Sarah Koch – whose wisdom and social media savviness helped hundreds of nonprofits.
- Passage of the Kennedy Serve America Act which will allow for more Americans to volunteer, focus on critical national issues, and be a catalyst for social innovation in the nonprofit sector.
- Mr. Yogato, Mudd House and Starbucks for keeping us fro-yo’d, caffeinated and happy.
City Year leading the way through their Whole School, Whole Child education initiative, showing that volunteering can solve major national issues like the drop out crisis and performance gaps.
- Washington Capitals for consistently making Washington proud. Ummm… Redskins, Wizards and Nationals, we still love you.
- The 12,000 people who committed to “be the change in their communities” as part of our Change Begins with Me campaign, and the 90% who actually stuck it out and followed through with their commitments.
- Thought leaders in our sector who are pushing boundaries, starting exciting new conversations and continuing to try new things, and challenge us to be smarter about social good … all in 140 characters or less.
- 60 degree days in Washington, DC in November. We know that means we need to work even harder on climate change, but it sure feels great.
- Companies like IBM, Cisco, Deloitte, Goldman Sachs and Intel that show that you can have meaningful programs and policies that allow your employees to make huge differences in communities around the world, that also, in turn, meet business goals.
- Our impeccable taste in holiday fashion. Especially sweaters.
- Organizations and individuals working to promote dialogue and create pathways for peace around the world, like Buxton Initiative, Peace Players Intl, and Aspen Institute’s Middle East Strategy Group.
- Great for-profit social enterprises that make a difference, like Zipcar, Brainscope, SnagFilms, National Geographic and GOOD.
- New and innovative approaches to online fundraising that empower everyone to be a philanthropist, like Twestival and GiveMN.
- Millennials who are leading the way on volunteerism and service (according to the Civic Health Index and the CNCS Volunteering in America Report) and organizations like Mobilize.org, Generation Engage and Be the Change, who are helping young people continue to make a difference.
- The $2 million raised for brain tumor research through ABC2’s Race for Hope and David Cook’s leadership as honorary chair of the Race.
Admiral James Komack who has brought the Trekkie out in all of us.
This post was created as part of a global groundswell of gratitude called TweetsGiving. The celebration, created by US nonprofit Epic Change, is an experiment in social innovation that seeks to change the world through the power of gratitude. I hope you’ll visit the TweetsGiving site to learn more, and to bring your grateful heart to the party by sharing your gratitude, and giving in honor of that for which you’re most thankful.