Happy Thanksgiving from ANV!
It was a packed house last Friday at ANV’s annual Thanksgiving dinner. Members, volunteers, staff, and friends gathered around full tables, pulling up chairs to make room for old friends and new. The food was plentiful and the room was warm, bright, and full of conversation.
While many of us will sit down this Thursday to a beautiful meal with family and friends, many others in our community will not. The majority of ANV members live alone and this season can feel especially lonely. That’s why ANV’s Thanksgiving gathering is so special to us—it’s a true expression of community where everyone is welcome and everyone matters.
After leftovers were handed out, the hall cleared, and cleanup was done, we were exhausted but happy. And I was left with this thought: How much we all benefit when we widen our circle.
In times that feel increasingly dark—war, climate change, intolerance—humans can tend to become more insular and pull back from the world. The circle of who we care for becomes smaller.
The instinct to close ranks can be hard to fight. For some, it’s a necessary protective mode. But for so many of us, we don’t need to make this choice. We can choose instead to widen our circle of care and create a community where everyone feels that they belong.
We don’t have to make a grand gesture to make a difference, we just need to take the first step. We can send a note to a friend who is struggling or give our time or money to a cause we believe in. We can widen our circle by adding one more chair to our holiday table.
At ANV, every ride, food delivery, friendly visit, and invitation to share a meal is an offering of care and community.
This Thanksgiving, I’m immensely grateful to our ANV members, volunteers, supporters, and staff and I invite you all to join us as we continue to widen the circle of care for older adults in Arlington.