Our Thanksgiving Memories- Teri

This week Imagine Hope is sharing our thoughts and memories about the Thanksgiving holiday season! Enjoy our stories as you create some of your own! Teri's Memory

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays! I like to look at it's meaning by breaking the word apart into "Thanks" and "Giving". I am all about gratitude in life. I think that focusing on what you are thankful for develops a positive attitude that can see hope in even the bleakest situations. But my memory is surrounded by the "Giving" part of this holiday. I was active in student government while in high school. Every year we would sponsor a food drive during the month of November that my high school, made up of about 700 students, would get involved in. During my time there, we really wanted to tap into people's competitive spirits, so we created the "turkey trophy". If I remember correctly my class might have won at least once. The home room who brought in the most won and got some sort of reward, like doughnuts or a pizza party. People went crazy over this. Classes were taking trips to discount stores and filled up their rooms with food. We would generally sponsor close to 20 families and take them each a turkey and 4 or so large boxes of food depending on how many people were in the home.

Being in student government each year of high school, I was given a pass to collect all the food, sort it into food groups, put together the packages for the families, and make the deliveries. This was one of my favorite days of the whole school year. We had a blast all morning organizing things, but the real joy came for me when I saw the look on the people's faces when we knocked on their door. Many families were in utter shock that a group of high schoolers were knocking on their door with food. I went into many homes who had very little and some that I was shocked by what they called home. I left each home with joy in my heart that we could help someone out there have food for the holidays. But I also left with a thankful heart. I would go home to my nice, warm house and look in my full refrigerator. I had so much more than those families. This experience put so much in perspective for me. I saw that even though my life was far from perfect, I should be thankful for my blessings and not take them for granted. These experiences founded my desire to give back and passion to help people in need. I am grateful for all this memory taught me!

We wish you all a safe and enjoyable holiday! Keep reading this week for more!

Written by Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW

Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Teri enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Teri also does family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding  areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield.