Giving Thanks Feast 2011

The 2nd annual Giving Thanks Feast was held on November 17th to celebrate and recognize the contributions of IOW’s Alumni, volunteers and community partners.  As the 30 guests arrived, they were invited to write a “Note of Gratitude.”  Notes were placed in a basket and each person picked one to read aloud.


Among the poignant and heartfelt sentiments expressed were:


I am grateful for the bettering of myself that has kept me free all this year.


I am grateful for the chance to be able to grow as a person, for the ability to understand my mistakes and fix them, for my determination to change.


I am thankful for being able to get a second chance and to get my freedom back.


I am grateful for the love and friendship IOW shares with everyone.


Longtime volunteer teacher Michael Miner shared a piece he had composed for the occasion:


…All of us have been in good situations that have turned bad.  And we’ve been in bad situations that have turned good.  The point of…’Universal Motherhood’ is to promote equanimity and well-being by reducing attachment to value judgments like good and bad.  Universal Motherhood…doesn’t take sides.  It doesn’t judge.  It is the process by which we develop compassion and loving kindness for everyone and everything….

Following Michael’s reading, guests enjoyed a traditional turkey feast and a raffle featuring electronics, theatre tickets and gift cards to restaurants.  The evening closed with several Alumni offering words of thanks to IOW’s staff and volunteers.


Special thanks to Robin Guzman/Whole Foods Market for food donations; Sonia Deraparahamian/American Rent All for table and linen donations and Leslie Johnson/Yvonne Bell/Center Theatre Group for theatre ticket donations.