Happy Thanksgiving!

Normally, each year on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving I work with friends, neighbors and partners to host a community Thanksgiving dinner at Calvary Christian Church at Large and the Boulevard. It's always one of my favorite nights of the year - the food - provided by my friend Said from Peace Islands PA - is delicious and the room buzzes with conversation and conviviality. I will be missing this annual ritual immensely this year.

It has been a year of trials and tribulations. From the pandemic, to civil unrest, to a contentious election and more, our community and our spirit has been tested. But when I think of all the ways the people of my district have stepped up to meet the challenges we've faced, I realize how much I have to be thankful for.

I think of my friends in Lawncrest who organized a weekly food giveaway to families facing food insecurity. I think of business owners like Matt from Nick's Roast Beef and Orlando from Tio Pepes who gave out free meals even though their own restaurants and staff faced ever shifting rules, regulations, and restrictions. I think of Val who offered to volunteer in my office to call people on their birthday to make sure no one felt alone. I think of the childcare workers and teachers, the senior home aides and SEPTA drivers, the doctors and nurses and so many more frontline workers who risked everything to serve others.

When I sit down with my wife for a pared-down Thanksgiving tomorrow, while we will miss those loved ones we cannot be with, we will also toast and give thanks to all those who have given so much for so many. Happy Thanksgiving!