At World Vision, we are so grateful for all of you – our donors and advocates – who, partner with communities and families around the world, finding sustainable ways to end poverty by speaking out. To celebrate Thanksgiving, we asked some of you to share how you plan to kick off the holiday season and overall and what you are thankful for as an advocate!

How are you all celebrating Thanksgiving this year?

For many, Thanksgiving is a time to spend with family – regardless of location.

“Over the last couple years, each of my Thanksgivings have been so different. Each year, my wife and I find ourselves in a different location, eating a different meal, entering a different season of our lives. And it’s a nice opportunity to reflect on how far we have come in this journey. I guess you can say our favorite tradition is not having a tradition at all!” -Edward Young Lee, California

“My and my husband’s favorite way to spend Thanksgiving is gathering to share a traditional meal with our kids and each of our parents. We celebrate the gift of health and relationship as one big family.” -Cathy White, Texas

“My favorite way to spend Thanksgiving is surrounded by family. Those simple moments of sharing food, conversation, and just being together makes it special.” -Veronica Crofoot, Kentucky

And of course, there is the food—

“With family and friends baking, cooking, and eating too much.” -Valerie Edmons, Florida

But first and foremost, it is a time to reflect and thank God for all we have been given and are able to do as the body of Christ.

“I’m thankful I am someone God can use. Even with my fears and my imperfections, He still manages to use me for good.  He allows me, broken, messy me, to take part in His work to help in any way I can—by using my voice, by raising awareness, by praying—and enables me to make a difference.  That’s a blessing worth remembering this Thanksgiving.” -Lisa Anderson, Washington

When thinking about your voice as an advocate, what are you most thankful for?

“On a serious note, I’m thankful that I live under a form of government that allows me to openly worship and [allows] for accessible members of Congress. On a funnier note, I have a friend in Senegal who, when I described a typical Thanksgiving dinner, said he had ‘saliva lips’ thinking about it.” -Nancy Johns, Washington

While it can be easy to take for granted that we live in a democracy that allows us to influence leadership and laws, as advocates, we are reminded of this blessing every time we send an email, make a phone call, or have a meeting with our members of Congress.

“[I am thankful that] through the power of technology, we have the ability to influence collectively and make a difference.” -Valerie Edmons

But technology is just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many pieces of the puzzle to be thankful for!

“Regardless of who is in the White House, I am grateful for the ability (and safety!) we have as American citizens to contact or even call out our elected officials in a local newspaper to take action. The very fact that I have a representative to contact is a blessing of influence I don’t intend to waste.” -Cathy White

Every person’s story is different, and to be able to represent those diverse voices to our members of Congress is not only a blessing but an honor.

“I am most grateful for the opportunity to engage with my Representatives and Senators. We are a global collection of stories and each person’s story matters. So to have the opportunity to convey that to members of Congress makes me extremely thankful.” -Veronica Crofoot

Advocacy is a reminder that it is not about our needs or desires, but that it is about furthering God’s kingdom on behalf of the poor.

“I’m grateful that God would instill in each of us a sense of mission. It’s humbling to realize that He would invite us into the work He’s doing to bring relief to the oppressed and give voice to those on the margins. In the end, we know that we’re not simply seeking momentary fixes in our policies, but rather, we get to partake in the work of the Kingdom, impacting souls for eternity. Exciting!” -Edward Lee

We want to say again how thankful we are for each and every one of you. Happy Thanksgiving!

Join us as we share what we are thankful for on Twitter by using the hashtags #Imthankfulfor and #WVAdvocacy. Click the button below to join!

Tweet: #Imthankfulfor #WVAdvocacy

Photo: © 2015 World Vision International/ photo by Chetra Ten

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