Thanksgiving week thanks

Posted on Nov. 27, 2012 at 12:00 a.m.

Our weekly expression of gratitude for those working to make this a better place to live:

Some people struggle to scrape together enough money for groceries on an average day, let alone Thanksgiving. Some, widowed or far from family and friends, find themselves alone.

Nearly 2,000 people enjoyed a meal and a couple hours of companionship Thursday at the Elkhart Salvation Army’s annual Thanksgiving dinner. Even though the event goes back decades, it still moves Maj. Steve Woodard.

“It gives me goose bumps thinking about it,” Woodard told an Elkhart Truth reporter. “It instills a little hope for people. We try to make it feel like a little bit of home.”

Making it feel like home took the help of 300 volunteers. To everyone involved in the Salvation Army dinner, and the dinners throughout Elkhart County, thanks. You fed the hungry and made time for the lonely on our behalf, and as a community we are grateful.

When the Faith Mission helps the homeless, Paula Turk told a Truth editor, “They’re doing God’s work.”

Thanks to the more than 2,000 runners who took part Thursday in the fourth annual Turkey Stampede, benefiting the Mission. They, too, did God’s work.

And in Nappanee, more than 800 runners raised money for the Kelsey Mikel Foundation in the I’m Thankful Four run. Kelsey, a 16-year-old junior at NorthWood High School, died from injuries she suffered in a 2004 traffic accident. The run funds college scholarships in her memory. Her father, Mark Mikel, called Thursday’s event “probably our best ever.”

Thanks to all those who ran for a good cause Thursday.

And finally, thanks to the Indianapolis family who adopted Lucky the dog.

Lucky needed a new home after his owner, 89-year-old Pauline Burema of Cassopolis, Mich., died of fungal meningitis Oct. 10. Her family tried to take care of Lucky, but the little poodle mix was used to a quieter life.

“He had been through a tough time and needed a home that would be more like the one he came from. Ours was too noisy and hectic for him, and I believe it was starting to take a toll on him,” Ali Haskett, Burema’s granddaughter-in-law, told a Truth reporter.

So the family said it was putting Lucky up for adoption and received more than two dozen emails. One, from a couple in Indianapolis, especially touched Haskett and her family. The couple said that someone in their family, too, had developed fungal meningitis after exposure to the same batch of tainted steroids that sickened Burema.

“Hopefully having a great little dog like Lucky would help ease some of the pain and sadness of the situation,” Haskett said.

We hope so, too.


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