Happy Thanksgiving from City Year Washington, DC

As our City Year breaks for a holiday vacation, it is time to slow down, relax with family and friends, and appreciate the best things in our lives. For me, this is not about the material objects we possess, but the daily opportunities for joy we receive. While a break from our daily service is needed and deserved, it is not simply this that I am thankful for.

I am thankful first and foremost for my family, the one I was given and the one I chose. I am thankful for the amazing opportunities City Year has given me thus far, and those yet to come. I am thankful for my second grade class at Orr Elementary School and their dedicated teacher. I am thankful for all of the faculty, parents, administrators, custodians, cafeteria workers, and every adult who works hard everyday to improve our students’ educational experience.

In the next few days, as we retreat into our living rooms with hot food on our plates and a roof over our heads, let us not forget how fortunate we truly are. If I could ensure that every family, everywhere, would be full and warm this holiday season, I would be more thankful than for all other things combined. Instead, I’ll be grateful for the opportunity to #makebetterhappen for the next generation so that they can grow up in a world to be thankful for.

I hope you all enjoy your days off and have a safe and happy holiday!

Joel Fralick, author, is a corps member on the Serve DC team serving at Orr Elementary School.

Photo credit: Catherine Ricotta, corps member on the team serving at the Winston Education Campus


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