This is a beautiful time of year – a time when friends and families gather to celebrate the season of giving. Many of us are familiar with the story of the first thanksgiving. Puritans had come to North America to escape persecution in their homelands and to find freedom to follow their beliefs. The land was inhospitable and many perished during the first winter. The next fall when the Pilgrims celebrated the harvest, they invited Native Americans to join the feast. From that we take our modern image of the first Thanksgiving: Pilgrims and Native Americans sharing an abundant feast together.
As we gather with our families and friends during this Thanksgiving season, we reflect on a spirit of acceptance and giving that is as important today as it was at that first gathering is 1621.
Fort Wayne has become home to many refugees who have ventured to our community in hopes of finding a more promising tomorrow. Whether it was our ancestors traveling here centuries ago or modern-day Fort Wayne immigrants, as a community our strength comes from diversity, acceptance and the collective spirit we share of working toward a better tomorrow.
Our city has always been a generous community where we look out for each other. From our newest community residents to those whose family has been here for generations past, we are all part of the fabric that makes our community great. No less important during the upcoming holiday season are our neighbors who may be struggling this year to provide for their families. Residents seeking assistance rely on the many available social services in town.
There are so many opportunities for you to give whether it be donating winter jackets, food or investing your personal time to help. Local churches, food banks and food pantries, agencies and many of our own City departments are sponsoring collections of food, clothing, coats, gloves, hats and scarves, toys and financial support for holiday assistance programs this year. Please consider helping someone in our community who may truly be in need. I am encouraging all City employees to do something this year to brighten someone else’s holiday season.
May the holiday season ahead bring true joy and special times to you and your families.
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