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‘Tis the time of year to reflect on what life has given us the past year. We’ll hear a lot about being thankful, about being grateful. Maybe we’ll donate some time to a soup kitchen or a food pantry or a hospital. We are and should be more aware of how we can help others; how we can give our time, talent, and, very importantly, our treasure to those in need. Child Care Resources of Rockland, Inc. is one of those very important organizations in Rockland for whom donations are vital because the need to support early care and early childhood education is crucial. Please consider celebrating #GivingTuesday by donating to CCRR.

I am an introspective person – always have been. Considering what I have done to impact the world, to be a better person, to be open to giving and receiving positive and negative experiences helps me to be better. I am grateful for constructive criticism because it makes me a better person. I am grateful for my interactions with people who are not the same as me, who have had different life experiences, because I learn from them.

This year I am very fortunate to be a part of the Leadership Rockland’s Class of 2019. Last week we took a deeper look at multicultural communities in Rockland. It was an emotional, impactful day as we discussed oppression, racism, sexism, religious diversity, the immigrant experience, and the LGBTQ experience. First-hand, first-person conversations. I have a new perspective, I am seeing the world differently, and I am grateful.

As I move to completing my first full month at CCRR’s Executive Director, I find myself reflecting on the world in which I live: the big wide world; my smaller, local world; and my immediate world - co-workers, friends, family. I am incredibly grateful to the hundreds of volunteers I know for giving of themselves because giving is so very necessary. I am grateful for my friends and family, for the love and support they give me. They are my world. Not everyone is so lucky, as I was so clearly reminded. We should remember to look people in the eye and say a kind word, give a pat on the back, or give a hug to those needing a bit of encouragement, a bit of support, a bit of humanity.