It is hard to believe that Thanksgiving is upon us already! As we have already seen many Christmas lights and decorations going up, it’s easy to roll right over Thanksgiving and jump right into the holidays. However, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, so I am trying to make sure it gets its fair time too! While I love a perfectly cooked turkey and all the comfort filled sides we seem to only have once a year, it also provides a scheduled opportunity to focus on gratitude and the many things we have to be thankful for in our lives. I try and practice gratitude beyond the one day a year that is marked on our calendars, but it is very easy to get bogged down by the challenges of life and the day to day activities we spend so much time doing. I am getting better at focusing on gratitude, but I’ve learned it’s a practice that takes time and commitment!
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’d like to take this opportunity to extend my gratitude to several people who have truly made a difference in the last several months. To start, I want to thank our team – Katie, Lori, Laurel & Sarah’s commitment to the foundation and ensuring the smoothest transition possible has been remarkable and I am forever grateful for the effort, patience, and flexibility they have shown. Thank you ladies! I would also like to thank our many supporters, community partners, and volunteers. This fall has been full of major events, booths, and presentations for us and we couldn’t have done them without our loyal volunteers, community partners, and generous supporters. Thank you! I would also like to thank the members of our LOSS Team. Unfortunately, we continue to see suicide deaths in our community, and our team members are always there with an open heart and mind to meet with the families and help them through their loss. Our team members use their own grief and loss as a driving passion for helping others who experience this unfathomable loss. They are all very special people and we are so fortunate to have each of you on the LOSS Team. Thank you!
Melody Beattie has one of my favorite gratitude quotes, “Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” I challenge each of you to take a moment during the Thanksgiving holiday to pause for some reflection and acknowledge the gratitude you feel, and even more, practice that beyond the Thanksgiving holiday, and find peace for your “today.” I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Please know we at the foundation are extremely grateful for all the support shown to us from the Omaha community. Thank you all!
Julia Hebenstreit is the Executive Director of The Kim Foundation. She received her J.D. from Creighton University in 2005, and her BS in Journalism from the University of Nebraska Omaha in 2002. She has been with The Kim Foundation since 2011, and prior to that worked for local non-profits doing development, strategic planning, communications and advancement. She has a passion for helping people and improving lives, and serves on the Executive Committee for Nebraska Association of Behavioral Health Organizations, as the 2015 Hill Day State Captain for the state of Nebraska, and as an active member of the Nebraska Suicide Prevention Coalition, the Early Childhood Mental Health Coalition, BHECN Advisory Committee, RESPECT Advisory Board, Connections Advisory Board and the Project Propel Planning Group.