The National Health Corps North Florida members are composed of people from all over the country. Some are from far away places like New York, California, and Pennsylvania. Others come from within Florida. For many of us, this means spending the holiday season away from friends and family back home. In response to this, some members graciously offered to host a Friendsgiving celebration in order to bring the corps together and enjoy the foods that make our members feel at home. The following writings detail what Friendsgiving meant to different members of the corps.
With my arms full of wrapped side dishes, I hastened to the site of the National Health Corps Friendsgiving celebration. Before the house was even in eyeshot, I knew that I had made it because I could hear the laughter and the animated chatter of my fellow corps members. The porch and the living room were overflowing with members telling jokes and writing notes of gratitude for each other. When I applied for the National Health Corps, I knew that I was committing myself to a year of service in North Florida. What I wasn’t expecting was to bond so easily with those that I am serving with. Thanksgiving is about expressing gratitude for what you have in your life. This year, I am grateful to be serving with such amazing people and to have had the opportunity to share a Friendsgiving meal with them.
The year was 1980. Though the pop culture world hadn’t yet been rocked by The Empire Strikes Back, a little rock band in Detroit, Michigan, would roll the world of rock with their hit single, "What I Like About You." Thirty-nine years later, I wonder if The Romantics would ever imagine the title of that chart-topping rock anthem coming to mind as we came together for a Friendsgiving celebration.
Amidst the tables lined with delicious food and delectable desserts, you were having a good time catching up after a long week. All around me, I saw not just familiar faces, but the faces of those who have shared the good times with me as well the bad. I saw the faces of those who took the time to indulge me with my seemingly endless nonsequiturs and bad jokes. I saw the faces of those who were there when I urgently needed help finding a resource for a client. Ever a thoughtful group, you even brought a birthday card for us to sign for a fellow member’s birthday.
AmeriCorps, that’s what I like about you.
I believe a Beatles’ song said it best: “Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends.” I really couldn't ask for a more perfect group of people to not just call fellow corps members, but true friends.
When corps members didn’t have a place to go for Thanksgiving, we supported each other. When a member wants to find a place in Jacksonville to provide outside service, at least 10 other members have suggestions. When a member finds a cool event happening in Jacksonville, multiple members jump at the chance to go. Some people are thankful for their team winning the football game. Some people are thankful for the pumpkin pie. This year, we are grateful for the incredible people that we serve with in Northeast Florida.
This Blog was written by the NHC Florida AmeriCorps Blog Committee