We hope that you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoy the opportunity not only to be thankful but to reflect on your entire year with gratitude. We are so grateful for all of our amazing donors and volunteers who make the mission of BPB come to fruition every day. Here are a few words about gratitude written by our a volunteer blogger, Courtney Murphy, for whom we are so grateful for!

Thanksgiving is a pretty cool holiday. In addition to its historical relevance to our country, it also gives us a moment to pause and think about what we, as individuals, are personally thankful for today. But that just scratches the surface, right?

Being thankful and expressing gratitude, to me, are really two different things. Being thankful for something is an important thing to DO. But practicing gratitude in your everyday life is an important way to BE. Being thankful is just a part of practicing gratitude every day.

For example…Instead of being stressed out that you have a million things to do for work and your children are currently demanding every ounce of attention that you don’t even have left, be grateful to have those children that need you and for the job that provides for them. Instead of being stressed out over holiday parties, Christmas shopping and figuring out how to split the precious time you have left with your extended family, be grateful to have friends to celebrate with, people to buy presents for and family who loves you and wants to spend time with you.

Instead of being stressed out about how you are going to get to four soccer games on one day, be grateful to have children who are active and able to go out and engage in physical activities that they love…and that you get to watch. The list goes on and on. Practicing gratitude is a state of mind. And a different way to think at things.

“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.”       ~Maya Angelou

Take a few minutes and reflect on your day and the things that added stress to your day. Then re-think your day, practicing gratitude. You can see that if you do this enough, your world view changes. Your tasks become enjoyable because you are grateful for them. Your glass becomes half full. Your kindness and happiness is extrapolated out to others because while you are practicing gratitude, you start to exude that gratitude back to the people and things you are grateful for. You want to give back because you are thankful, every day, for everything that you have.

Practicing gratitude, takes…well, a lot of practice. It doesn’t come overnight. And it’s not always easy. But try shifting your vision. Try being grateful for those things you don’t always feel grateful for. And see if it doesn’t make a big difference in your life.

2016 marks the fifth year for Giving Tuesday. It follows Cyber Monday and is a chance to express your gratitude for all that you have by giving back to people who may need a helping hand. Backpack Beginnings is grateful for the people who remember us on Giving Tuesday. All of your donations allow us to pass on your kindness to the children of Guilford County. What better way to practice your own gratitude for the food on your table and the children in your house by giving back to those children in our community that do not have enough food to eat. On Thanksgiving or any other day during the year. Happy Thanksgiving.

“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.”        ~ A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Written on 11/21/16 by Courtney Murphy.