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Giving Thanks

On a number of recent occasions, I have found myself in a situation that makes me a tad uncomfortable – one that I’ve been inclined to examine as the season descends that inspires many of us to think a bit more than usual about expressing gratitude for all that we appreciate.  Since joining MeHAF, I have attended many gatherings hosted by MeHAF grantees – meetings, community events, celebrations, etc.  A recurring theme is always that of hearty and repeated statements of thanks for MeHAF’s support.  Similarly, grantee reports and other written materials often echo that message of thanks.

As someone who spent many years in the non-profit world, I certainly understand the genuine sentiment and the desire to express appreciation for resources provided – which can be critical to the organization’s ability to do its work.  And like all human beings, my colleagues and I certainly appreciate being appreciated!  But at the same time, I cannot help but think that it is we here at MeHAF who owe our non-profit partners across the state a tremendous debt of gratitude, rather than the other way around.  It is you who are there day in and day out in your communities, working to make them better places and to support the people we all care about. 

What that work looks like ranges far and wide.  It might mean making a home visit to an older person just discharged from the hospital to be sure she or he has food to eat at home and a clear understanding of their doctor’s instructions.  It might mean connecting a person seeking medication-assisted treatment to begin recovery with a care provider who can support them on that challenging journey.  Or it might mean working to empower a community, to build their capacity and social capital to address a whole host of conditions that impact their health and wellness. The examples are too numerous and varied to acknowledge them all here. 

So I return to the topic of gratitude.  MeHAF contributes what we have to these efforts – first and foremost, that often means dollars and cents.  Beyond grantmaking, of course, we use our resources to do things like engaging people with unique expertise that might not otherwise be available to our grantees, convening learning communities to bring grantee partners together, and supporting research and advocacy efforts on issues that affect the uninsured and underserved, just to name a few.  But for the hard work, the tremendous persistence in the face of big challenges and the tangible results in communities throughout the state of Maine that help advance our mission on a daily basis, we take a moment during this season to share our gratitude for our grantee partners – without you, we could achieve nothing.  Thank you!

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