The Acts of Gratitude

by Mark Stash

When the demands and responsibilities of everyday life can sometimes bog me down, a technique that can work for me is being mindfully grateful. Writing in a journal the positive parts of your life can be very empowering. Keeping gratitude in your heart can also lead to positive changes.

Even in the midst of grief and loss, gratefulness can lead to positive changes in others’ lives. Gary Pierce Brown of Keuka Lake decided to do something to help out CareFirstNY, an organization that provides care to seriously ill patients and their families. When Gary’s wife Martha was terminally ill, the group was such a tremendous help to them in so many ways.

Thankful and inspired, Gary decided to write a book called Maggie of Crooked Lake (page 69). Maggie is a dog that Martha adopted from the Finger Lakes SPCA in Bath that greatly enhanced the lives of her and Gary. This book is meant to help others deal with their grief and sadness. Gary is generously sharing the proceeds from the sales of his book with CareFirstNY because he wants to pass along the comfort that he felt to others who may be in need.

Another positive difference maker in the Finger Lakes community is Denise Shay of Milly’s Pantry in Penn Yan (page 30). The market and café sells local vendors artisan foods and handcrafted gifts from the region. Proceeds from the sales of these items then go to the children who live in Yates County. Denise couldn’t say enough good things about the volunteers that help her on a daily basis.

The nonprofit organization was inspired by an inspirational movement based around the charitable doings of Mary Camilla “Milly” Bloomquist, a beloved legend in the Penn Yan community. Awareness, compassion, giving and doing for others are the cornerstones of the movement.

There are two major programs. The Weekend Backpack Program provides nearly 400 children with kid-friendly nutritional supplemental food every week, all year long. The School Supplies Program helps students have the necessary supplies and learning tools in order to get the most from their education.

Be well, and do good things.


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