Counting Blessings…

Photo of Asters by Katheryn Laible

Counting Blessings…

Especially at this time of year, we endeavor to count our blessings daily, which we realize are many. This starts with the personal ones. We are further beyond grateful for the medical professionals, first responders, teachers and essential workers of the world. We are also more thankful than ever for all those doing other really important work to serve our communities, and for all who support them.

Over the last few years we’ve been blessed to share some truly wonderful people who continue to inspire us every day. In case you missed them the first time, just want to read them again, or are looking for more worthy organizations to give to:

Our first story ever published here was about Jayette Lansbury. a tireless champion for those impacted by mental illness and for compassionate criminal justice reform. If it’s true that angels walk the Earth disguised in human form, we’re pretty sure Jayette’s one of them.

Here’s Ray Homburger, who has a long history of making us laugh out loud, sharing his adventures bringing light to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria…Oh my goodness!

Among other things, Ray rescued a puppy…which makes us remember all of these folks rescuing animals island-wide

Here’s the story of how the Village of Freeport came together in the wake of our own Superstorm Sandy. They were one of a number of South Shore communities who ultimately formed the Friends of Long Island that made us SO PROUD to be Long Islanders.

Here’s Mackenzie Johnston, one of the younger “Friends,” who’s grown to become an incredibly creative, giving young woman who gives us great hope for the future.

Then there’s Ron Stein, who has a way with impossible dreams that take on a magical life of their own.. We can’t wait to share more about his last great endeavor, Friends of the Coltrane Home, or to see what he chooses to champion next!

Regarding another endeavor to preserve an incredible legacy, the story of the great “electrician” Nikola Tesla is amazing in its own right. The people coming together to advance that legacy? Wow….

Speaking of science, we love Dr. Spencer Thomas’ passion for it and this explanation of why basic research — the kind of stuff with no apparent application — is so very important.

Roger Tilles will never forget a third grade teacher who inspired him as a child, He will not retire because he is determined to continue to make a positive difference in the arts and education. We sat with him back in December of 2019. Everything he said then had even more meaning when we posted it in May….

We are also grateful for this partnership of an Artist and a Scientist to address global hunger….beautifully!

Then there’s Cliff Hammond…what a story! Stories…lots of stories…about the determination of surviving, thriving, the difference between “impressive” and “cool” and one of his favorite subjects of all: Rotary International.

Speaking of folks who neither ever give up nor fully retire, we saw Joy Squires, Huntington’s Environmental Sage recently and are pleased to report she’s doing well. She had a great idea for a story to come!!!

Then there’s Lisa Gatti and her incredible channeling of the the healing power of horses.

…and these folks, a merry band of builders, designers and others brought together by the Fairway Mortgage Foundation who came together to give a veteran a home.

God rest Gus Scutari, Syosset’s Humble Champion of Americanism…We miss him so!!! We can read this story over and over and over…and each time take away something new,

We think it’s related to this reflection on the founding of our Nation, and the ongoing endeavor by people ever since to keep creating a more perfect union.

Which, in turn, makes us reflect on the patience, grace and profound leadership of so many for whom achieving that promise has been an ongoing struggle….

And then, finally, it’s not quite a Long Island story, but we really appreciate the giving pledge of Warren Buffet and Bill Gates….and the related story of Andrew Carnegie’s own determination to give…which had a huge impact on one of our very favorite things….Libraries.

Then there were people whose offerings helped us keep our attitudes adjusted…

Brian Carideo offered his personal testimony that there’s life after addiction; that folks who are struggling can and do get it together every day, offering his support to those in process.

Jed Morey encouraged folks to move past blind ideology to remember empathy, history, civil discourse and listening.

Eric Alexander offered his own humble proposal to help overcome polarization, advance collaborative solutions and do something meaningful.

Most recently, Dave Vollmer, Lt Col, USAF (ret), PhD offered his well considered thoughts on what it means to be a good leader.

All together, it’s quite profound. We’re sure we missed some good stuff, but this should keep us busy for a while!!!

Thank you all for keeping your good light shining. We deeply, gratefully appreciate it!!!