MODESTO -- Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. Apart from the earlier- than-ever rush for Black Friday deals, the focus is on those things for which we are most thankful. For the past few weeks, numerous friends across a variety of social networks have given a daily countdown of their thanks items big and small.
Thanks for loving moms and fulfilling jobs, comfortable homes and loyal pets. Thanks to the men and women serving our country in the armed forces and to the public safety officers in our town. And a simple line whispered by a pretty cool little boy to his mother: "Mommy, I'm thankful for friends."
For me, I am thankful for the health of my family; for the love of my wife; the continued success and safety of Brittany, currently serving aboard the USS Fort McHenry with the U.S. Navy; and Morgan, a third-year student at CSU Chico; and for my many close friends. I am also thankful to live in a community that more so than others in which I have lived helps those who need the most help.
Our community helps through things like the effort to refurbish and revitalize the Modesto Arch; the biannual Love Modesto community service days; the YES Company, outdoor education and Academic Decathlon; locally owned retail stores and restaurants opening and surviving downtown; the hundreds of performers and performances that have taken the stages at the Gallo Center for the Arts and The State Theatre not to mention the venues themselves; the Community Brunch and Valley's Got Talent. The list goes on and on and on.
This holiday season, as The Bee has done for 22 years prior, we have presented "A Book of Dreams" to the community. It is a unique partnership between The Bee and the Stanislaus Community Foundation to provide an easy, effective way to support those most in need.
In the past few years, the focus of our dreams has changed from the needs of individual families to those organizations that have proven to help the most consistently. The things they need aren't luxuries; rather, they are the most basic of human necessities food, shelter, clothing and safety.
Among the things that make this unique is that 100 percent of your donation goes to those charities who help. The Bee and the Stanislaus Community Foundation cover all of the overhead associated with the donations everything from credit card processing fees to the cost of stationery and postage providing you with a letter for tax deductions.
This year's "A Book of Dreams" was published Sunday. If you missed it or would like to review the stories, see some beautiful unpublished photos and consider a donation, please visit www.modbee.com/dreams.
As overstated as it often is, this is the time for which we are thankful for every blessing and every benefit in our lives. We appreciate those around us; those who provide us strength through difficulty and those who cheer our successes.
We are, on behalf of all employees of The Modesto Bee, thankful for you, for your charity and your generosity and we wish you the warmest of holiday seasons.
Johnston is publisher and president of The Modesto Bee. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 578-2090.