It is already time to start Giving Thanks

Can you believe it? The leaves will soon be turning colors, the nights are getting more brisk, Halloween is only a few weeks away, and Thanksgiving will be here before we know it.

Just a couple days ago my son mentioned to me that he is starting to prepare mentally for the Thanksgiving spread I usually cook for my family. He tells me each year that this is his favorite holiday.

His comment served as a sudden reminder of our longtime newspaper tradition in which we invite local folks to submit to us a brief commentary on what they are most thankful for. We then share those thoughts — yep, every one of them — with our readers, free of charge, on Thanksgiving Day.

This tradition started at our newspaper decades ago, and I still remember as a young cub reporter in the newsroom being required to decipher the hundreds of often hard-to-read, handscrawled submissions that had arrived to be printed in our annual Thanksgiving Day edition. Back then, the news staff would busily peck away at our keyboards, typing each one of them for publication.

We still get hundreds of submissions each year, but now, most come submitted digitally by readers. While the format might have changed, the sentiment remains the same. And as always, we encourage everyone to take part — elementary classrooms working on class projects, nursing homes, families and anyone else who wants to share their thoughts.

Young schoolchilldren still submit their thoughts as class projects, but nowadays, we ask that groups send their submissions electronically. You can submit up to 35 words per person. After each submission, please list the person’s name. If it is a class project, please instead include the student’s name and grade. Also include the name of the school and community. Include the entire group or classroom into one email.

Sadly, our world is very polarized these days. It is filled with much hate, disagreement and dissatisfaction. We hope that reality makes our readers even more dedicated to taking us up on our invitation to share positive thoughts in time for Thanksgiving.

Whether it’s the fall weather, encouragement of family or a life-changing event, readers are encouraged to submit why they are thankful. Not only are the submissions a good way to share your positivity, but it’s also a great opportunity to encourage teens and children to develop an attitude of appreciation.

Through the years, I’ve read submissions from readers thankful for things like new jobs, or their health or their children. Still others have come from people who are going through exceptionally tough times but are able to share uplifting thoughts by maintaining a strong appreciation for the people who care about them and the good things that have happened to them this year.

Usually we get hundreds and hundreds of submissions, and we’d love to publish them all. That’s why we ask that they be brief — no more than 35 words.

Forms for writing thanks will be published from time to time in this newspaper in the coming weeks. Fill out the coupon, attach a separate piece of paper with your reason and mail it to the newspaper, Attn: Giving Thanks, 240 Franklin St. SE, Warren, OH 44483.

Or if you’d prefer, email your thoughts to givingthanks@tribtoday.com.

Submissions should include a person’s complete name, a phone number (not for publication) and the community in which you reside.

The deadline for submissions is Nov. 9.

So, as my son is mentally preparing for the upcoming Thanksgiving Day meal, I’ll be mentally preparing to read the hundreds of submissions from readers like you!


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