Giving Thanks This Season


Cardinal Health volunteering at the Columbus Ronald McDonald House
Cardinal Health volunteering at the Columbus Ronald McDonald House

By Darla Stover

The literal definition of grateful is feeling or showing an appreciation of kindness; to be thankful. The staff, volunteers and families at the Ronald McDonald House are grateful and thankful for:

  • The opportunity to give back to help those in need here at the Ronald McDonald House
  • The shifts never feeling like work
  • Recovery from illness
  • McFamily volunteers
  • Fall nights with candles and warm blankets
  • Always meeting someone new at the Ronald McDonald House
  • The education of a lifetime at The Ohio State University
  • My husband’s love for 42 years
  • The holiday season
  • Health and happiness
  • The Ronald McDonald House Charities mission
  • Candy and ice cream
  • Waking up this morning
  • Good service and nice beds at the Ronald McDonald House
  • No worries of expense of food and lodging at the Ronald McDonald House

Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on all of the reasons to be grateful. Different countries celebrate Thanksgiving in unique and different ways. Here are some celebrations from all over the world:

  • Jour de l’Action aka Thanksgiving Day: Canada celebrates the harvest and other blessings of the year with a large feast
  • Chuseok: Korea celebrates this 3-day holiday with a major food festival. Koreans return to their hometowns to perform traditional rituals in the morning to remember ancestors
  • Tet Trung Thu Festival: Vietnam’s fall celebration is also known as the Children’s Festival. Children light lanterns and perform lion dances as part of the celebration
  • Harvest Festival: London’s 2-day festival includes the fruit and vegetable competition as well as the giant pumpkin competition
  • Homowo: Ghana’s celebration is a commemoration of the pre-colonial famine that occurred in Ghana. The festival includes drums, face painting, singing and traditional dances
  • Erntekankfest: Germany’s Harvest of Thanks includes a Thanksgiving parade and a carnival with elaborate decorations made from harvested fruits and vegetables
  • August Moon Festival: China’s 1000 year old tradition to reflect on the summer harvest and fullness of the moon. Many mooncakes-flaky, round, semi-sweet pastries are given as gifts during the celebration
  • Pongal: India’s 4-day festival marks the end of the winter season in India.  People throw old clothes in the fire and wear new clothes to worship their sun god, Surya.
  • Crop Over: Barbados’ harvest festival features singing, dancing, climbing a greased pole, feasting, a drinking competition as well as a calypso music competition

However people choose to give thanks this season, I want to give thanks to all of the hard-working staff and volunteers at the Ronald McDonald House, the staff and volunteers at the hospitals and most importantly, to our families who are my pleasure to serve every day.