Submitted by Tami Bohannon, Chief Advancement Officer
I define gratitude as the quality of being thankful; having a readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. I feel extremely blessed that I am surrounded by gratitude daily. I am especially aware of it as we kick off the holiday season. It is that practice of gratitude that we at Advance Community put at the center of the celebration of Thanksgiving.
We are honored to work alongside some incredible in-country partners in Bolivia, Ecuador, Mexico, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Peru, and the United States. These collaborations opened the path for supporting more than 43,780 people in need so far this year. Advance’s distinct approach is based on our conviction that, no matter what, the community comes first. It is not our role to tell others what they need; instead, we must listen and respond. That is why our job is relational rather than transactional. We build safe places for collaboration with the communities we serve, collaborating with trusted local partners and delivering dignified, culturally appropriate care so that everyone we serve understands they are a valued and equal member of the Advance community and the globe.
We are grateful to our donors and volunteers who contribute year after year to keep this life-changing work going. This year, over 1,600 people and organizations contributed their time, skill, and fortune to help promote optimum social, mental, and physical health in underserved areas throughout the world.
Advance can do the following because of your generosity:
- Provide important health education and increase awareness about community issues
- Establish international surgical and primary care brigades in communities with limited access to healthcare
- Provide prepared-from-scratch, healthy meals to seniors in low-income housing
- Fund and build community-centered infrastructure
- Bring together leaders and community partners to address systemic inequities and effect transformational change
We are thankful to the people of all ages that we serve, especially during COVID, when we have been able to alter our services and delivery methods while always keeping the health and safety of all those involved in mind. Our program participants have faith in us and a desire to improve their own and their families health, whether it’s through chronic disease prevention education in Arizona, establishing sustainable food security in Bolivia, a new way of farming in Mozambique, clean water in Nicaragua, solar-powered home in Peru, educational support in Mexico, or critical medical intervention in Ecuador. Because Advance envisions a society in which everyone thrives, generating new possibilities and hopeful futures.
As an organization that strives for good health for all I want to share that gratitude can be good for your health according to Harvard Health, “In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.”
We hope the practice of gratitude is at the center of your celebrations this year.