Giving, and Giving Thanks

On this Thanksgiving Eve, I write with news of Kendal at Ithaca’s demonstration of thanks through recent charitable giving.

As they have since the beginning, Kendal residents collect monetary donations for gifts to missions-driven organizations in Tompkins County. Over the years more than $400,000 have been distributed to not-for-profit agencies. The residents select the recipient agencies by voting on all submitted nominations. The two with the most votes are awarded the donation. This year the Ithaca Free Clinic and Golden Opportunity were each given $15,000.

Ithaca Free Clinic offers services to under- and un-insured members of the community. Services range from acute, primary care issues to acupuncture, herbal medicine, Women’s Health/GYN, chiropractic and massage therapy. They also offer counseling services around self-health, financial advocacy, nutrition and chronic care.

Golden Opportunity provides free, one-on-one tutoring and mentorship to low-income students in grades 2 through 8 in the Ithaca City School District. The tutors apply a holistic approach which includes not only academic learning support but also life skills development necessary for success in school and life. For 30 weeks, the students have two one-hour sessions on top of regular classroom time.

Kendal at Ithaca staff members contributed over 400 items to a food drive for the Food Bank of the Southern Tier as their expression of gratitude. Over the course of two weeks, boxes decorated as turkeys popped up around the community, filled up with canned good, pasta, peanut butter and other dry foods, and then miraculously emptied to be filled again.

Thank you to all residents and staff who make contributions to our Thanksgiving efforts. We do have much for which to be grateful if we just stop and think about it. Be well and Happy Thanksgiving to you !

Betsy Schermerhorn