About three years ago I started a Thanksgiving tradition at my church. Every November our Youth and Family Committee distributes cards, stickers and pens to the children’s religion classes so they can create “What I’m thankful for” cards.
The truth is the card materials are Creative Memories former Short Story Cards that I was able to purchase after the program was discontinued and there was no longer a need for them. I love being able to recycle these cards in such a positive way. If you don’t have any of these lying around you can create your own cards using the Rotary Trimmer and some card stock (scrap pieces are fine). The cards can be either a 5" or 6" square or you can use the scoring blade and create actual cards.
Last year my family and I broadened the program by offering it an organization called Hands Across the World. This organization works with recently arrived refugees in the St. Cloud area, most are from Somalia. Their goal is to help them get acclimated to their new country. As part of the program, Hands Across the World serves them a traditional American Thanksgiving dinner.
My family and I have helped serve this dinner for two years as part of our Thanksgiving. Many of the attendees have been in the country less than a year and have never seen a turkey, much less turkey dressing or green bean casserole. Every dish is labeled with the ingredients so they can become more familiar with them, and also to reassure them that there is no pork in the ingredients. Most Somalis practice Islam, which forbids eating pork.
We set up the card supplies and help the children in attendance create their own Thankful Cards. The most common thing the children list on their cards that they are thankful for is their parents. Although many are very young, they realize the risks and pain their parents have endured in order to provide them with a better life. In fact many of the parents don’t speak English yet so their children have to serve as the family translator.
It’s a joy to be able to use these left-over cards and stickers to help others reflect on their blessings. We all wish you a Thanksgiving filled with blessings and time to reflect on what you have to be thankful for.
This is my daughter Anna a few years ago creating her Thankful Card.