The sound of leaves rustling beneath my feet ... the glorious sunrises and sunsets that paint the sky ... neighbors and friends and family who care about each other ... We have many things to be thankful for, but topping my list right now is the loving community we live in.

People unite under causes that uplift their neighbors like the Pine River Area Food Shelf and the many programs under the Pine River-Backus Family Center. Their generous donations allow these programs to exist. We have numerous volunteers who give of their time to make these programs work. The people in our community still smile at strangers and greet each with respect while passing on the street.

Why is it that in a large city, there are more people but less of a connection? Their worlds are closed off to few friends and family and many don’t want to know what’s happening within the city around them. They have no room in their hearts to include the needs of any one else and are perfectly happy with that limitation.

They pass each other on the streets without acknowledgment that the bodies they pass exist in the same world. Is that how we are supposed to live? We are not a nation where everyone gets to live on their own island. We need to recognize the ideal is to be a part of the community and share our strengths and gifts so everyone is taken care of.

It is such a blessing to be able to see farmers' fields full of corn and cows that feed our nation. Our forests are filled with homes for wildlife and material for homes for humans. Our world view needs to be adopted everywhere.

We thank you for giving so generously to support your neighbors in need.