Happy Thanksgiving!

Today, we are grateful for each of you. For the love, for the support, for the compassion, and for the vision that you provide Interfaith Hospitality Network of Athens.

This past Sunday night, IHNA was honored to take part in an Interfaith Thanksgiving Worship Service hosted at First Baptist Church. I would like to share my remarks at the event because I think they capture what each of you do on a daily basis to make a difference.

From L to R Joel Tolbert (Oconee Presbyterian), Eric Linder (Congregation Children of Israel), Alison Eskildsen (Unitarian Universalist Fellowship), Bruce Lancaster (First Presbyterian Church), Paul Baxley (First Baptist Church), Adel Amer (Al Huda Islamic Center), Davin Welter (IHNA)

“On behalf of Interfaith Hospitality Network of Athens (IHNA), I want to thank you for the gifts that you offer to assist homeless children and their families in Athens.

I am grateful for being a part of this group. I am grateful for your presence today at this service. I am grateful for this community that cherishes love and unity.
In a time when the divisions in our country are so great – the divide between rich and poor, the chasm between political parties, the gulf between races and religions – we gather to show harmony. We gather to demonstrate friendship.
A week and a half ago, we had an election that was the culmination of a divisive process. Regardless of what side of the coin you were on, I would encourage you to not think of elections as every 4 years or every 2 years. Instead, think about what you elect to do today. As a member of this community, you have more power and resources than you probably recognize. I would encourage you to utilize those benefits and focus your energies on tangible actions that make a difference.

IHNA is one of those places in our community where a difference can be made. Simply spending the evening or the night with our guests, keeps them for being out in the cold. Providing a meal for our families, keeps them for being hungry. Volunteering in our office, keeps our expenses low and helps our organization run smoothly.

I am thankful for the congregations and the individuals in them that elect to join with IHNA – regardless of their differences – to provide shelter, food, transportation, and childcare for homeless children and their families. IHNA works with over 800 generous volunteers who provide care and compassion for our families housed in the host congregations.

Thanks to each of them and thanks to you for electing to make a difference.”

With much appreciation and Happy Thanksgiving,

Davin Welter