Summer is Officially Over..But I Remain Hopeful

Fall is my favorite season of the year. Why? Firstly, because in my opinion, it is the best fashion season (Gotta love the scarves and boots!) but most importantly because it reminds me of my grandmother and all that she stood for.

She loved gardening and manicured her lawn almost daily. As a kid, I loved when fall rolled around and the leaves began to change colors and ultimately fall from the trees. She, however, was not a happy camper. I remember playing for literally hours after school in the piles of leaves that she had raked and put into neat piles for disposal. Although I knew she despised it, she never said a word because she knew it made me happy. It was that kind of selflessness that made her so special to me and everyone she knew.

She truly believed in the sense of community and the concept of “we.” We was not just me and you, we was whoever needed or could offer help if any one of us needed it. She always put her needs last after family, friends, coworkers, and fellow community members. She lived and breathed giving back and supporting her community by doing whatever was necessary. She was and will always be my motivation and inspiration for believing that the world is full of hope and can change for the better.

I am surrounded by volunteers, coworkers and even clients who embody that same spirit of hope and change. Now more than ever, we are challenged to maintain hope in the face of extreme economic adversity. While some days are better than others, even the not-so-good days are bearable when I think about my grandmother’s strength, compassion and belief in change. I support the American Red Cross in her honor and because I have seen firsthand the impact that organizations like this one can make.

Who inspires you to make a difference or create hope? Share their story by making a gift in their honor or memory. Holiday season is just around the corner. Consider giving a tribute gift and change lives in your community. Visit www.chicagoredcross.org/tributes.

Shemiah W.

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