What are we thankful for?

Since Thanksgiving is the holiday where we gather with our family and friends, we often take the opportunity to reflect on what we are thankful for.  In keeping with the season,  I asked 92 of the men and women (all of whom live with some type of disability and range in age from 21 to 70) who participate in day programs here in Waterloo this question, “Since it is nearly Thanksgiving, what is it that you are thankful for?”  I received a wide range of answers and not surprisingly, 44% of the people listed family and friends in their answers.

thanks for the windows edited words


Read on to see what I found out.


  • for my toys (Celina A.)
  • Halloween (Denny A.)
  • family, church friends, my cousins (Kay A.)
  • “girls” (Allen B.)
  • family and friends (Michael B.)
  • my cell phone and girlfriend (Tony B.)
  • North Star friends, family, roof over my head, a good life (Jerry C.)
  • family (Jessica C.)
  • Mom & Dad (Sarah C.)
  • if the weather wouldn’t be too bad (Randy C.)
  • dark meat turkey, turkey skin and making a wish with the wishbone (Tim C.)
  • Grandma (Andrea D.)  
  • my family and my Nook (Georgia D.)
  • myself – my arms and legs (Mike D.)
  • having two jobs (Frank D.)
  • coming to North Star and my best friend (Willy E.)
  • the play – North Star’s June production of Peter Pan (Jane F.)
  • Jesus dying on the cross for my sins (Tim G.)
  • roommates, family (Crissy G.)
  • family, friends, North Star staff (Don G.)
  • home and family (Linda H.)
  • the people at River Hills, TV Guide (Charlie H.)
  • my family (Cheryl H.)
  • Karaoke (James H.)
  • just being alive ( another James H.!)
  • having a job (Andrea H.)
  • if there was no more wars (Robin H.)
  • mom and dad (Kenny H.)
  • bowling (Jeff H.)
  • my staff who fix meals for me (John H.)
  • my cat, “Kit Kat” (Lance H.)
  • that I lost a lot of weight and my family (Rhonda H.)
  • Lien (a staff person) and reading the Waterloo Courier (Todd H.)
  • friends, family, Adrian Peterson from the MN Vikings (Blaine J.)
  • that I have a job (Isaiah J.)  
  • football (John J.)
  • horses (Kelly J.)
  • pizza (Twila J.)
  • Mom (Jason J.)
  • my staff and family (Bill K.)
  • my family, niece, nephews (Brittany K.)
  • clean clothes (Brock K.)
  • electronics (Justin K.)
  • family, that I have my grandpa, and my boyfriend (Tabitha L.)
  • my girlfriend (Chase L.)
  • my friends at North Star (Andy L.)
  • chips and Pepsi (Jon L.)
  • family, friends, relatives, pizza (Sheri L.)
  • being able to draw (Travis L.)
  • Grandma Kay (Ben M.)
  • Donna (Mike M.)
  • family (Larry M.)
  • everybody (Sandra M.)
  • a place to live (Wendy M.)
  • cooking (Diane M.)
  • “not interested” in answering (Zach M.)
  • my dog and family (Jordan N.)
  • that I’m alive! (Susan N.)
  • a new 50 – inch TV that I can watch (Tammy N.)
  • Newel Post and North Star (Jerry O.)
  • my friends (Mike O.)
  • my house (Joe P.)
  • my family (Amy P.)
  • that I have a job because a lot of people don’t (Richie P.)  
  • relatives, family, animals (Kylie P.)
  • my grandparents (Taylor P.)
  • family (Carrie R.)
  • my sister, Wal-Mart, and lights (Jim R.)
  • my mom and my staff people (Lee R.)
  • turkey and pie (Mike R.)
  • family, Alabama – country music group (Tammy R.)
  • Mom and music (Breyon S.)
  • chicken sandwiches, rice and Jeffie (Caroline S.)
  • my cat (Courtney S.)
  • my new house, my girlfriend (James S.)
  • my mom (Suzanne S.)
  • friends and working at North Star for 13 years (David S.)
  • my daughter (Janice S.)
  • that I am fine (Barb S.)
  • my staff person, Linda (one more Barb S.)
  • that I am healthy (Sheryl S.)
  • that I can go to my staff’s house for Thanksgiving (Jerry T.)
  • food (Jeff T.)
  • getting this brace off and getting a smaller one soon (Tina T.)
  • my family (Tyrone T.)
  • Thanksgiving (Steve W.)
  • being alive (and another Steve W.)
  • naps, pop and cookies (Gary W.)
  • my mom, stepdad, grandma, and wrestling, too! (LaShunda W.)
  • Tiwanna (Pam W.)
  • friends (Matt W.)
  • family (Tempest W.)
  • family and my sheriff badge (Arnie Y.)

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