Happy Thanksgiving! Whether you brave the airports on the busiest travel day of the year, host your extended family or spend time with friends for Friendsgiving, I hope you enjoy a lovely holiday full of delicious food, gratitude and love.
We usually think of Thanksgiving as “turkey day,” accompanied by bright-colored leaves, family gatherings, holiday parades and a football game on the TV. Regardless of whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving, this is a wonderful time of year to express thanks for our blessings and consider how we can give back to our community.
I’ve always found volunteer work immensely fulfilling. I mentioned before how I love animals and supporting local animal shelters. I am a complete foster failure – most of you have seen Cricket, the little abused kitty who came into my life as a foster three years ago, on a Zoom call by now. We knew she would never leave!
I am also a volunteer certified family court mediator and have been a volunteer CASA, advocating for abused and neglected children. Volunteering never ceases to remind me of how fortunate I am. Lending even a few hours of our time and energy to those who can’t always advocate for themselves leaves a beneficial impact far longer than we can imagine.
What are you grateful for this Thanksgiving?
This year, I am so grateful for my family and friends (and yes – our furry friends count as family members). I am also thankful to belong to this dedicated and passionate AME family. Sitting down for Thanksgiving only a few short weeks after AME’s annual conference feels extra special each year. I reflect on all the hard work that made it a successful event – it's thanks to the people who poured years of their time into providing us with an unforgettable experience. To all those who planned the conference and attended each action-packed day, you have my gratitude.
Longtime AME volunteer and former AME Champions Club director Burgess Oliver said he is most thankful for his wife Beverly, his kids, and his nine grandkids. “They are the joy and pride of my life.” Oliver also shared, “I am thankful for meeting four gentlemen (including Doc Hall) in a hallway in New Orleans at an APICS Conference, who went on to organize the AME organization and allow me to be one of the first 100 to belong. This opened my world to something I could never have imagined being part of. In the past 39 years, I have met hundreds of folks through AME who have helped me along life’s journey in North America and many other countries. Many may not even know my name, but in some ways, have given us a touch of magic to our successes.”
We are incredibly thankful for the visionaries, like Doc and Burgess, who built AME, and the past and present volunteers, board members, individuals, corporate members and the AME home team. You all make AME so special, and I am incredibly grateful for that.
As we slowly wind down for the year and look ahead to 2024, make sure you stay connected with AME and all the events we have planned. Thank you all for making AME such a wonderful community to lead. I wish you all the happiest of holidays!
As always, please stay safe and keep looking out for one another.