The Thanksgiving focus on gratitude suits me. I am very grateful to be living and working in Addison County, Vermont. And everybody from Forbes Magazine to the Dalai Lama says that gratitude is good for you (Forbes calls giving the “best-kept secret to a healthy life and a happy career”). There have been many recent studies proving the benefits of gratitude.
According to the Harvard Medical School, “Gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.” (www.health.harvard.edu)
The New York Times calls Thanksgiving “The most psychologically correct holiday of the year” and reports that: “Cultivating an “attitude of gratitude” has been linked to better health, sounder sleep, less anxiety and depression, higher long-term satisfaction with life and kinder behavior toward others, including romantic partners. A new study shows that feeling grateful makes people less likely to turn aggressive when provoked, which helps explain why so many brothers-in-law survive Thanksgiving without serious injury.”
In an effort to facilitate your feelings of health and happiness this holiday season, I put together a list of local charities (local giving can be as nourishing as local food).
Boys & Girls Club of Greater Vergennes “Our Vision is to provide a world class Club experience that assures success is within reach of every young person who walks through our doors, with all members on track to graduate from high school with a plan for their future, demonstrating good character & citizenship, and living a healthy lifestyle.”
Bixby Memorial Free Library “The Bixby Memorial Free Library, supported by Addison, Ferrisburgh, Panton, Vergennes and Waltham, is dedicated to fulfilling the diverse literary and cultural needs of these communities. The Library promotes reading and learning as lifelong activities by providing a wide range or resource materials, programming and outreach and by preserving and promoting the cultural heritage of the area.”
Vermont Community Foundation “The Community Foundation was established in 1986 with a mission to grow philanthropy in the state and ensure that donors and nonprofits have the resources they need to be effective.”
The Andy Fund “Dedicated to Glioblastoma Multiforme Brain Tumor Research”
Zeno Mountain Farm “Zeno Mountain Farm is an organization that runs camps for people with and without disabilities….People of all ages and abilities are part of Zeno Mountain Farm including people with Cerebral Palsy, Down syndrome, law degrees, Autism, a love of art, teaching certificates, Cognitive Delay, carpentry skills, Williams Syndrome, a willingness to dance in public and Spina Bifida.”
“Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity: it must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all.” ~ William Faulkner