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A Time to Reflect on Why We are Thankful

This week we chose a Thanksgiving article from November 2004 written by Bob Pulido. It's nice to look back and remember why we are thankful for our supportive Collins Home Community, staff, and Collins Kids.

An old-time preacher once said, “When gratitude dies on the altar of a man’s heart, that man is well-nigh hopeless.”

I enjoy Thanksgiving because it is a time we can join together with our loved ones to give thanks for our many blessings.

Many of our children are looking forward to going home for Thanksgiving. Others are going to spend the holiday with friends. As a “Collins Home Family,” we are going to celebrate Thanksgiving on Tuesday of next week.

We have invited the children’s families and friends to have dinner with us when they come to pick up the children. Parents, resource families, board members, staff, and children will meet together for food, fellowship, and fun.

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend." - Melody Beattie

This Meal is Significant to Me

The food will be traditional and simple. Kaye (Gibson) is organizing everyone and taking care of all the details. The last I heard, she is planning turkey with dressing and gravy, green beans with potatoes, sweet potato casserole, rolls, tea, and pumpkin pie. The staff is pitching in to help with the preparations for the meal. I am just glad we have Kaye to keep us all going in the same direction.

This meal is significant to me. For years we have hosted similar meals in other children’s homes. It has been my practice to invite people at dinner to share something for which they are thankful.

Listening to the little children’s responses can bring tears to your eyes. Watching the children's faces as they hear their parents take the opportunity to say something kind in public about them makes the meal worthwhile.

It is easy for us to get so caught up with the daily problems of life we forget to appreciate the blessings of life. Ordinary families struggle with this. When you add to this, the family being broken due to abuse, neglect, or serious adolescent behavior problems, it becomes even more difficult to look for the blessings. Not everyone will speak in public, but enough will share to walk away with the warm feeling that we were part of something special.

"Showing gratitude is one of the simplest yet most powerful things humans can do for each other." - Randy Pausch

Uplifting Reasons I'm Thankful to be at Collins Home

I would like to include you in this time of testimony by telling you some of the reasons I am thankful to be at Collins Home.

First, I am thankful that God has put me in a place where I can help hurting families. I have been an administrator in the past, and I was unable to fulfill my desire to teach and counsel parents.

I am also grateful for the wonderful staff. So many times, I will show up at an event, and, as director, people will give me credit for the success of that event. However, my leadership style is to find qualified people and get out of their way.

For example, in our recent golf tournament, board members Will Huss and Stephen Tompkins with staff member Elisabeth Newberry led the way with equal assistance from committee members Rich Albrecht, Gordon Brown, Neil Byerley, Tom O’Connor, Anne Rackley, Dave Shipley, and Ray Stamm. These people did a great deal of leg work in acquiring sponsorships and gifts. The golf tournament made $10,000 this year. I am grateful for everyone who worked so hard to make this tournament a success.

I am thankful for the Collins Home volunteers. Without our volunteers, we would not be able to provide many of the services to the children. Volunteers help with tutoring. They go to children’s ball games. They invite the children into their homes and allow them to participate in their family activities. Others come in to help with yard work and landscaping. There is not enough space to list all our volunteers in this article. (Learn more about our volunteering opportunities here.)

Each volunteer is special, and I am thankful to have the opportunity to work with such dedicated friends.

I am thankful for our children. I have always believed God sends the children that we can help and who will also help us grow as adults. This year I have enjoyed watching the growth in the lives of the children.

Most of them struggled with family problems, and they continue to grow through those problems. Many of the new children made personal decisions to be saved. Others made decisions to work hard at school and bring their grades up. This growth is what makes the work worthwhile.

Finally, I am thankful for you, the reader of this article. Your interest, prayers, and donations make all of this possible. Thank you for faithfully supporting this ministry and our efforts to help children and families in crisis.


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