Today is the day for giving thanks for everything we have, especially our family and friends.

It’s also a good time to give thanks for the health care professionals who have been fighting for nearly two years now to save the lives of those infected with COVID-19, as well as the teachers, first responders and front-line workers who go to work every day in support of others.

One important way to show them our gratitude is by getting vaccinated to reduce the number of COVID-19 cases they have to deal with. About 80 percent of current COVID patients are people who have not yet been vaccinated.

Also, let’s not forget those who give their own time and effort — with no monetary compensation — just to help others.

We can find volunteers in every community and locations in between performing amazing work throughout the year. There have been excellent local examples of this within just the past 30 days, including:

n People working with the Greater Susquehanna Valley YMCA to collect and distribute winter coats to more than 1,000 adults and children across the region.

n Members of St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church of Northumberland collecting and distributing a variety of clothing items for those in need.

n Members of the Otzinachson Chapter of the Sierra Club braving freezing temperatures to collect litter along a portion of Route 15.

n Students in the Milton Area School District honoring veterans with several events, including placing wreaths on military veterans’ graves and writing letters to veterans in nursing homes.

n Members of the First Evangelical Lutheran Church of Watsontown serving a breakfast to military veterans.

n Owners of small railroad work cars zipping along North Shore Railroad tracks in their “speeders” to collect donations of holiday gifts for needy children

n Milton Area High School students, members of SkillsUSA, collecting toys and other items for more than 100 chronically ill children at the Janet Weis Children’s Hospital in Danville.

The powerful spirit of volunteerism is alive in at least nine locations across the Valley today as people give their time and effort to cook and serve free Thanksgiving day dinners to anyone who needs one.

Living in an area so generous is one of the things to be thankful fo.

Happy Thanksgiving.

NOTE: Opinions expressed in The Daily Item’s editorials are the consensus of the publisher, top newsroom executives and community members of the editorial board. Today’s was written by Digital Editor Dave Hilliard.

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