Happy Thanksgiving!

One year ago we launched this blog with the intention of letting people get a glimpse into the world of someone else – someone who just happens to have a disability.  We hope that you have learned something new – something that may have surprised you!

Just as I did last year, I asked 88 men and women with disabilities (ages 19 to 70+) who receive services at North Star in Waterloo, Iowa what they were most thankful for.  As just one more example of how alike we all are, you would probably be grateful for many of the same things they are.  Not surprising, friends and family top the list in 53% of the answers.  (Also not surprising – at least not surprising to me ;0) – food is another thing for which we many of us are thankful.)  Thanksgiving blessings to you!  



  • everything.” (Jerry A.)
  • my staff that helps me be independent, and my brothers and sister.” (Allen B.)
  • food like turkey, dressing and pumpkin pie.” (Eric B.)
  • Jesus’ birthday.” (Frank B.)
  • not thankful for anything today.” (Michael B.)
  • my brothers & sisters and North Star.” (Tony B.)
  • North Star, a place to live, good staff and the food I eat.” (Jerry C.)
  • dogs.” (Jessica C.)
  • getting to work at North Star.” (Randy C.)
  • my three sisters and eating turkey and potatoes and gravy.” (Georgia D.)
  • turkey & Thanksgiving.” (Jesse D.)
  • arms and legs and hands.” (Mike D.)
  • turkey and the “Wheel of Fortune.” (Jane F.)
  • family.” (Sam F.)
  • Mom and roommates.” (Crissy G.)
  • my whole family and my mom and Chad Hackenmiller.” (Don G.)
  • everything we have.” (Luke G.)
  • family (and I want to say something else, but that’s inappropriate).” (Tim G.)
  • that my aunt and uncle are coming to share the holiday.” (Andrea H.)
  • my buddies and Chad Hackenmiller.” (Charlie H.)
  • my family & boyfriend.” (Cheryl H.)
  • food to eat, the friends I live with, a place to live, North Star, Goodwill and clothes to wear.” (Chris H.)
  • Mom & Dad.” (Christian H.) 
  • watching movies.” (Emma H.)
  • Day Hab and pop cans.” (Lance H.)
  • my friends.” (Lester H.)
  • if there was no war, and my sisters.” (Robin H.)
  • my friends.” (Roman H.)
  • having Thanksgiving with Carolyn.” (Todd H.)
  • Thanksgiving and karaoke.” (James Ha.)
  • that I can come to North Star and me, myself, and nobody else.” (James Ho.)
  • Thanksgiving.” (Jeff H.)
  • my mom and aunt and Day Hab and something to do!” (Blaine J.)
  • my family.” (Jason J.)
  • horses.” (Kelli J.)
  • River Hills.” (John J.)
  • family, friends, and the play.” (Twila J.)
  • staff and family and good Thanksgiving.” (Bill K.)
  • money, food, dogs, a good group home, working to be on my own and my mom’s cat “Blue.” (Justin K.)
  • family, friends, and staff.” (Brittany K.)
  • my girlfriend, Mom & Dad, new house and the “3 Stooges.” (Chase L.)
  • work.” (Douglas L.)
  • chips and pop and Mom.” (Jon L.)
  • family and my relatives.” (Sheri L.)
  • my family.” (Tabitha L.)
  • drawing.” (Travis L.)
  • my sister and brother.” (Duane M.)
  • turkey day, Christmas, Mom and T.V.” (Jamei M.)
  • Thanksgiving, home, family, and food.” (Larry M.)
  • turkey and my brothers.” (Richard M.)
  • ham, my brother, sister-in-law, and nephew.” (Sandra M.)
  • my brothers and a place to live.” (Wendy M.)
  • food and Carol.” (Diane M.)
  • family, friends, church family, food, clothes, house and boyfriend.” (Amanda N.)
  • that I am alive.” (Susan N.)
  • family and getting to live on my own.” (Tammy N.)
  • Mom and Dad.” (Tyler N.)
  • family and staff.” (Mike O.)
  • home.” (Rick O.)
  • family and good health.” (Amy P.)
  • family and the food from Hy-Vee.” (Kylie P.)
  • everything good like being able to see, and going out of town.” (Michael P.)
  • my family.” (Richie P.)
  • family.” (Taylor P.)
  • friends and Crissy.” (Carrie R.)
  • pizza and pie.” (Lee R.)
  • pie.” (Mike R.)
  • Mom & Dad, sisters, brother, and ME!” (Tammy R.)
  • Mom, Good!” (Breyon S.)
  • turkey, ham, peas, Jeffie, and Mary.” (Caroline S.)
  • being alive.” (David S.)
  • living on my own.” (Delbert S.)
  • Spicoli’s and pop.” (Elizabeth S.)
  • my daughter.” (Janice S.)
  • my health.” (Sheryl S.)
  • my mother.” (Suzanne S.)
  • food and turkey and football on T.V.” (Jeff T.)
  • friends, home and roommate.” (Jerry T.)
  • work.” (Tyrone T.)
  • food, turkey, church and coloring pages.” (Christopher V.)
  • corn, pie, turkey, cranberries.” (Rosemary V.)
  • Mom.” (Craig W.)
  • family.” (Matt W.)
  • sister and family.” (Nancy W.)
  • Amanda and Shirley and all the staff.” (Pam W.)
  • Mom and pop and O.P. pizza and Becky.” (Gary We.)
  • I’m alive!” (Gary Wi.)
  • family and music.” (Arnie Y.)

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