For a lot of people, Thanksgiving isn't just about giving thanks, it's also about giving.
Studies have shown America is the most generous nation in the world. In 2011, the Charities Aid Foundation ranked the United States first in the group's World Giving Index. The study showed 65 percent of Americans give money, 43 percent volunteer their time and 73 percent help strangers.
Generosity shines brightly in our area.
In Fulton and Montgomery counties, which are marked by high unemployment, food pantries are reporting they have sufficient donations to meet people's needs over the holidays - thanks to help from local residents.
Today, the Gloversville and Johnstown Council of Churches' free Thanksgiving dinner was expected to serve about 1,500 meals - sit-down and takeout - at the Church of the Holy Spirit in Gloversville. Some 120 turkeys were to be cooked, and about 300 people were expected to take time from their own holiday to prepare, deliver or serve meals.
In our area, generosity isn't confined to holidays. Local residents recently came to the aid of victims of Hurricane Sandy. Some people offered donations and others went to hard-hit areas in New York and New Jersey to help with cleanup efforts.
Fundraising for charitable causes goes on continually around here, and there is no end to people's willingness to give, even if they have little themselves.
Since we often are barraged by bad news and reports of people doing bad things to others, it would be easy to see the world as dismal. But one of many things we can be thankful for today is the kindness that springs up when people are in need - especially in our local counties.