I am thankful for the generosity of those who give of themselves because it is the right thing to do.
I am thankful for the compassion of those feeding or helping the less fortunate.
I am thankful for the selflessness of families caring for loved ones who can't care for themselves.
I am thankful for the bravery of our first responders and healthcare workers who fearlessly run toward danger.
I am thankful for the commitment of teachers to relearn how to shape and affect children's lives.
I am thankful for the determination of small businesses that have adjusted and readjusted to the demands of this time.
I am thankful for the courage of those suffering with mental illness to reach out at a difficult time.
I am thankful for the unrelenting tenacity of parents who have added "teaching from home" to their parenting duties.
I am thankful for the servitude of the nonprofits for they fill the gap for those that struggle.
I am thankful for the connectivity of the internet to bring families, friends and businesses together at a critical time.
I am thankful for the joy, wisdom and smiles my family brings to my life.
Lastly, I am thankful for those who choose positivity, patience, flexibility and love in a world we could not have imagined.
-- Steve Van Dorn
Site 300: Confronting toxic pollution
Site 300 is an 11-square mile experimental test site in the hills southwest of Tracy. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) placed Site 300 on its "Superfund" list, one of the most contaminated sites in the country. For decades, open-air high explosives tests have released toxins into the air, soil and water putting Site 300 and nearby communities at risk.
Recently, Livermore Lab and its parent agency, the National Nuclear Security Administration, have undertaken a new site-wide environmental impact statement (SWEIS) to analyze operations at the Lab's Main Site in Livermore and its Site 300 near Tracy over the next 15 years or more.
This is the time for community involvement. Join a virtual community meeting, 7:30 p.m., Dec. 1, to discuss early identification of concerns, potential impacts, relevant effects of past actions and possible alternative actions. For information on how to attend, visit trivalleycares.org
-- Mary Perner
A note of gratitude
As the end of the year approaches, we reflect on the months that have passed. The global pandemic turned 2020 into a year of paradox where it seems as though so much happened while at the same time so many things stopped.
For many, 2020 has been a year of upheaval and, generally speaking, it feels somewhat counterintuitive during times of chaos to talk about gratitude, but I'm going to take a leap. Sometimes we have to look a little deeper, but when we do we are reminded daily that there are always positive things to be thankful for at Open Heart Kitchen, despite the many challenges we have faced in 2020.
This past year we embraced change by restructuring our programs to fit the ever-changing needs of our community, yet never deviating from our mission to feed the hungry in our community. In this year of shifting sand, your support has allowed Open Heart Kitchen to keep its footing.
Here at Open Heart Kitchen, we are thankful for each of you, and your continuous efforts to ensure a strong foundation for us to flourish. Whether you follow us on Facebook, read our monthly newsletters, participate in our fundraisers, volunteer with us, or donate, we appreciate your dedication in helping us tackle food insecurity in the Tri-Valley. You make our vision a reality!
As you gather around your table with friends and family this Thanksgiving, know that because of your commitment and support, people in our community have a place at the table too. We might not be able to end hunger completely, but we are decreasing the number of people going hungry in our community, one meal at a time.
-- Shawnda Bost,
OHK volunteer coordinator
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