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Family Blessings

Grateful For The Gift Of Family!

Karen and Jay share thoughts on the blessings of family.

There is nothing more important than family. Families form the core building block of our society, and strong families make for strong communities. The ties of family weave bonds that endure through the tough times, producing a fiber of everlasting strength. And, the spirit of family love emanates outward, filling the world with positivity and light.

So, at this time of Thanksgiving, we cherish the blessings of family. For those families that are able to spend this holiday together, it is a very special time to share laughter, joy and especially love. And, for those that have been forced to be distant – either due to the pandemic or otherwise – it is still a moment to enjoy, recall cherished memories and count blessings.

It is also a time to recall Thanksgiving’s of years past. To use the holiday as a marker of time – recalling days when we were younger, kids were younger, and the fond memories of parents and grandparents. It’s a time we stop to offer our thanks and gratitude for the many blessings in our lives. And, then to take one more step – and ask ourselves – what can we do to help others – especially others who may be families in need?

So, as we enjoy our turkey, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie – then leftovers in coming days, let’s reach out to offer our hand to others, while also being thankful for all the wonderful blessings of family.

Special ‘Thanks’ - Those Who Sacrifice and Serve

This year has been a difficult one for many. But I am confident that brighter days lie ahead. We have climbed what seemed like insurmountable mountains in the past, and I am certain that we as Americans will continue to do so on this occasion as well. And, our success will be due largely to the spirit and sacrifice of those who serve. Our service men and women, our health care workers, our first responder’s, essential workers and all those on the front line who give of themselves - day-in and day-out. We commend those in the medical field. This year has brought on new challenges for them. To ensure the safety of their own loved ones while providing medical care for those in need, members of the medical community parted ways from their family, took on more shifts, and stepped up to the plate like never before. Their commitment to the well-being of others and the sacrifices they have made are truly remarkable. They are our heroes, and we are all thankful for their dedicated service.

And so important, our servicemen and women. For us, our son Lincoln is currently in the U.S. Navy, stationed in Japan along with the fellow members of his fighter jet squadron. Like so many in our armed service, they won’t be coming home for the holidays. Their sacrifice - to be away from their families so we can be home safe with our’s - is a true testament to their dedication and commitment. Meanwhile, we have seen incredible leadership and generosity on display in our non-profit community. Typically, these organizations rely on donations, often driven by in-person events. Due to Covid, however, many of these events have been cancelled and the major fundraising programs that fund their initiatives have not been available. Thankfully, the spirit of leadership and service has risen to meet the challenge. Organizations like ‘Swim with a Mission’ have stepped up. Knowing it would be a difficult year, the organization’s leadership team took it upon themselves to support non-profits across the Granite State. Radio telethons like ‘Lend A Helping Hand,’ which supports nineteen organizations across New England raised nearly $250,000 in three days!

The power of the human spirit and our sense of community has raised up those who have needed it most and set forth a course of care and compassion. Sacrifices have been made by so many. I know in my heart the difficulties we have confronted and overcome this year will create a better and brighter future filled with opportunity. On behalf of Karen and myself, we wish you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving and a special time for gratitude.

Thanksgiving and the Spirit of Giving in NH

Each year, Thanksgiving marks the unofficial kickoff of a special time to give back. 2020 has been a tumultuous year to say the least, and even though things are tough, we need to be thankful for just for how good we have it, in so many ways. And, of course, look for ways we can help those who are facing difficulties and in need.

One great such effort is being spearheaded by WMUR, Channel 9 in Manchester. As with so many things this year, WMUR’s ‘Spirit of Giving Toy Drive’ is going virtual. With online wish lists, you can help a needy New Hampshire family bring some much-needed Christmas cheer to their children.

Speaking of online shopping, good news! If you are exercising that option, remember that by simply changing your Amazon URL to a small portion of your purchase will be donated to a charity of your choice. The even better news is that Amazon does this year-round. This is a quick, simple, and easy way to help those around you.

And, a special ‘hats off’ to another generous initiative. The Windmill Restaurant in Concord is preparing 20 turkeys to be given away for free to families struggling to make ends meet in the Capital area. But, there is yet another angle to what they do. The meal prep is being done by students so they can develop culinary skills to prepare themselves for jobs in the future! The generosity of giving - combined with volunteerism and entrepreneurial creativity. This is the epitome of the New Hampshire spirit and ingenuity!

Positive Profile of the Week: Virginia and Margaret Drye

The Drye’s of Plainfield, New Hampshire are the dynamic mother-daughter ‘Can-Do’ duo! While sharing the spirit of civic engagement and a commitment to service, Margaret and her daughter Virginia are known for taking positive action in a very unique way. Mother and daughter both ran for office earlier this year – both running as candidates for State Representative to serve in the New Hampshire Legislature. Not surprisingly, their efforts picked up some national headlines including a story about them on Fox News. And, if they had been successful, they would have been the first mother-daughter combination serving in the New Hampshire legislature in nearly two decades.

Moreover, I have gotten to know Margaret and Virginia over the past several years, and I am consistently impressed by their upbeat spirit, their enthusiasm and their willingness to put action behind their beliefs. I’m so very proud to consider them to be my dear friends!

Margaret has been an incredible mother and inspirational leader. Home-schooling her nine children while also being very active in her community - rescue squad, 4-H, multiple town committees and willing to volunteer in so many ways.

Meanwhile, Virginia is having a huge impact at an early age - active in GOP politics, serving on the Executive Board of the New Hampshire Young Republicans. Though still in her early twenties, Virginia is already recognized as a true rising star in New Hampshire politics.

Despite not being victorious in 2020, Virginia is not dissuaded, and has already expressed an interest in running again. This ‘never give up’ mentality will lead to long term success in all areas of her life. I am sure there is much more to come from both Margaret and Virginia in coming years, and I cannot wait to see what is next for this incredible mother-daughter team!

Quotes of the Week: Family Blessings

“Family is not an important thing. It's everything.” —Michael J. Fox, actor

“The only rock I know that stays steady, the only institution that works, is the family.” —Lee Iacocca, business leader

“Family means no one gets left behind or forgotten.” —David Ogden Stiers, actor

"In every conceivable manner, the family is link to our past, bridge to our future.” —Alex Haley, writer

“The family is the first essential cell of human society.” —Pope John XXIII


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