Thankful for the Simple Things

As the communications coordinator here at UGM, I document what goes on at the mission from graduations to volunteers putting together food baskets for Thanksgiving. Love Your Neighbor Day/Thanksgiving banner.

On Thanksgiving, I had a chance to meet some people who attended the yearly Love Your Neighbor Day (Thanksgiving). Prior to the event starting, I met a few people in line waiting to fill their stomachs with the tasty food that the mission had prepared.

I first met a man by the name of Allan. He had much to be thankful that day from the sunshine that gave some warmth on a chilly day to the opportunity of socializing with a new person such as myself. What really struck a chord with me was when he said,

"I'm thankful for the things most people take granted."

I thought to myself for a moment of how just taking a shower or even sleeping in my own bed are blessings.

Allan thankful for things people take for granted.

Allan did not have a place to stay in of his own. He told me that the he stayed at a church the previous night since the weather dropped below freezing. Despite not having much, Allan remained happy with a smile on his face waiting patiently for the feast.

I caught up with Allan after he ate his meal. He informed me that he enjoyed everything about the meal. I asked him if he had seconds and he did not. He wanted to make sure everyone who went to the meal that day had a chance to eat too.

While talking to Allan, I noticed a man who walked up and down the line with a sign that read "Free hugs." I've seen people do this before in various places on the Internet but not in person and I found it intriguing.

When he walked up near Allan and me, I actually hugged him and asked him if I could take his photo. He allowed me to take his photo and I also interviewed him briefly.

Paul, who loves giving hugs, felt many people could use a hug and wanted to let them know that they are loved too. Paul said,

"I think alot of people could use hugs in this world."

Many people who waited in line took Paul's offer for free hugs and many were happy to receive a hug from him.

We can take basic things we have for granted such as sleeping in a nice warm bed, getting up in the morning to a warm home, or receiving a hug from a loved one or friend. When we can give back by helping someone, this shows our thanks and gratitude for our blessings. If you want to help someone this holiday season, by giving a meal, please click here.

Watch what Allan and Paul have to say in their own words.


Jojoe_Nujoy_1Communications Coordinator, Jojoe Nujoy,  wrote this article. You can contact him at




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