"There is a wave of gratefulness because people are becoming aware of how important this is and how this can change our world. It can change our world in immensely important ways, because if you're grateful, you're not fearful, and if you're not fearful, you're not violent. If you're grateful, you act out of a sense of enough and not of a sense of scarcity, and you are willing to share. If you are grateful, you are enjoying the differences between people, and you are respectful to everybody, and that changes this power pyramid under which we live." David Steindl-Rast
When asked "What are you thankful for?" The children smiled and began a litany of gratitude: "Everything!" "Family." "Friends that really care." "Food." "A home." They did not hesitant to name the abundance in their lives. Their gratitude described in many ways how they depend on adults to provide these physical and emotional gifts to keep them safe.
So what happens when the adults in children's lives cannot, no matter how hard they try, keep the children safe? They struggle to know how to meet simple daily needs such as food, water and shelter. They wring their hands and their hearts searching for hopeful possibilities.
During 2015, we have witnessed this struggle as the number of Syrian refugees increased, and their efforts to secure safety for their families were thwarted in various places. We have watched as families fled homes that were engulfed by wildfires. We have seen the forlorn look in parents' eyes when their homes have been flooded or left in shambles by a storm. We have glimpsed the yearning as adults have worked hard to keep the children safe. We have heard their gratitude when compassion and hope found their way into their lives.
We want you to know that at Week of Compassion, our answer to "What are we thankful for?" turns us toward YOU. Each and every one of you. As you have looked into the eyes of parents and adults struggling to protect the children, you have welcomed them into your hearts. Gratitude for the abundance of family, friends, shelter and feasting within your own lives translated into generosity. Your contributions through:
The Week of Compassion offering,
Recurring Week of Compassion gifts,
Special gifts to support immediate needs,
Beginning new and growing established named Week of Compassion endowments,
and the Circle of Compassion
made a world of difference to parents and children who needed to know that someone noticed and put their compassion into action.
Week of Compassion Staff