We’ve come a long way this Thanksgiving – and we have a lot to be thankful for

Dear Friend,

As the autumn leaves disappear and crisper air sweeps across the First State, we’ve finally made it to a day I look forward to all year: Thanksgiving! And while every Thanksgiving is a great opportunity to bring friends and family together and give thanks, this year feels different.

After last year’s Thanksgiving — in a year marked by overwhelming loss and stark changes to our annual traditions with loved ones — this Thanksgiving carries a different weight, and a sincere gratitude for those around the table. A feeling that through pain and loss, we’re stronger and closer than we were before, and more prepared to face whatever comes next.

And, after all, looking back at the last year and a half, it feels like we’ve come a long way.

So, this week, I’ve been thankful. I’m thankful for the COVID-19 vaccine that is saving lives every day and allowing us to return to work and school and join again with friends and family.

And I’m thankful that the hard work of our scientists and public health workers has made it possible for all adults to get COVID-19 booster shots that will safely bring more of us home this year to gather around the Thanksgiving table.

As I reflect on my gratitude, I celebrate Thanksgiving through serving our community. This morning, after lacing up and joining Delawareans in the annual Thanksgiving Day Multiple Sclerosis 5K Race in Wilmington, I went down to the Emmanuel Dining Room to make sure those in the First State experiencing homelessness had a warm meal to eat on this holiday.

In Washington, I’ve been focused on serving our community by working on legislation that would: cut the costs that so many First State families have to pay for childcare; create good-paying jobs for American workers; lower prescription drug costs; and tackle climate change to protect our low-lying state from rising sea levels in the Build Back Better bill. We’ve got more work to do to serve Delaware families throughout the state, but on this day of thanks and service, I’m hopeful for the future.

From getting your vaccine to volunteering at a local food bank, we can all play a part in making this holiday safer and healthier for our neighbors this Thanksgiving. And for all the hope and happiness I’ve felt seeing family and friends around the state this week, I know that because of our service, next year’s holiday can only be better.

Wishing you and your family a safe and happy Thanksgiving,

Tom Carper