Taking Care of the Caretakers on Thanksgiving

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Create the Good. All opinions are 100% mine.

It’s easy on Thanksgiving to give thanks to the people we can see and interact with on a daily basis. Family, friends, teachers, police, they’re all worthy of our gratitude and appreciation. But it’s also a perfect opportunity to take a moment and think about those people who find themselves in a caretaking position, whether it’s an elderly parent who needs daily assistance, medical staff who make sure the ER isn’t empty on a holiday, or just a parent who sacrifices their Thanksgiving plans to stay home with a sick child.

I know from personal experience how exhausting it is to be a caretaker; my daughter was just home from school for two weeks with a cold that evolved into strep. The days she lay on the couch as I focused on her needs, the nights I sat and listened to her quiet whimpering in her sleep as I sat, helpless, unable to do anything to speed up the healing process, the professional and personal events I had to cancel because I didn’t feel comfortable leaving her alone in the house.

First thing we did after she started to get better? Buy a heavy winter coat to keep her warm!

Coats are easy. Children get better when they’re sick. But many professional caretakers are silent about their efforts and devotion, their love of the people who they tend, and so it’s an excellent time of year to really open your eyes and look at the people in your life who are the caretakers, who take care of others that you love. Perhaps it’s the young man who pushes grandpa in his wheelchair when he’s out of the house, or the nice gal two apartments over who drops off dinner when your cousin was bedridden with morning sickness, or the staff of the nursing home where your parents are living out their last few years in the best environment you can create for them.

An organization called Create the Good is celebrating these caretakers during the holiday season with a contest called  25 Days 25 Ways to Care [read the Contest Rules] and if you know of a caretaker it’d be great if you can nominate them to be one of the many winners in the campaign. And there are plenty of prizes: one per day for 25 days, actually, and the grand prize is $2,500 to the winner’s charity of choice.

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My parents both passed away in the last five years, and in each case I was so impressed by the hospice workers, the caretakers who helped us deal with a heartbreaking situation and each of my parents go gently into that long night. It’s so easy to ignore the quiet people who help things run smoothly in the hustle and bustle of the holidays, but please, pause for a moment and reflect: who are the caretakers in your life? In your family’s life?

Now’s a splendid time to thank them, and to consider nominating them for a 25 Days 25 Ways to Care award.

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