Thursday in the US is Thanksgiving. Since we are all thinking about what we are grateful for this time of year, we decided to share.

Cindy Marie Jenkins:

Sentimentality’s not my thing. Whenever a Thanksgiving host tears up during a toast for all of her friends who showed up, I get uncomfortable. Yet I jumped at the idea of a week of thanks for the Voices From Chornobyl blog, because there are truly many reasons to be happy with life. That’s what my Dad always said the meaning of life must be : happiness.

And I am happy. I’m freelance but nicely employed, doing work that interests me and I love. If it weren’t for my dog, I’d go crazy working from home. This brings me to the number one reason why I am happy and I give thanks: People I love surround me. Everyone makes me crazy once in a while, but I love all the contact with all of the people. I love the assembled awareness team for the VFC April events, all who have given their time and talent for years, all who donated to Voices over the years. I love my husband, who knows my history and relationship to this project. He was the only one who didn’t blink an eye when I said I was adapting a book of interviews from Chernobyl. He is healthy, I am healthy, even our friends who are a little sick are still healthy, because they are happy.

For all of that and more, I am thankful.

Rachel Stoll:

This year I am very grateful for Cindy bringing me onto this project, and for all the people and opportunities I met thanks to the Hollywood Fringe Festival. I am especially thankful for my boyfriend Jon who cracks me up consistently and keeps me from being so serious. Thanks to needtheater for bringing me into their family, and to everyone else that is a part of my real family or just my chosen one.

Jane Whitty:

In this season of thankfulness the things that come to mind for me are my family and friends that are there for me on a daily basis without whom I would be lost. My day job, though I might not always show it, is something that I am thankful for as it keeps my rent paid, bills paid and my car full of gas (most of the time anyway).  I am thankful for the experiences that I have had this year, the people I have met and for the new opportunities that await me next year.

I am most thankful though for projects like Voices from Chornobyl that show me just how much I have to be thankful for. While researching this topic the stories I came across were devastating. The situation is abysmal and it seems little has improved nearly 25 years on. Though in looking into this disaster the next thing you come across, after the devastation, is the hope. The charities and individuals that have made this cause their life mission. The videos of volunteers, most of whom live countries away, donating their time to help the people who have had their lives forever changed by this event, are inspiring. Knowing how dire the situation is in Belarus makes me extremely thankful for whatever impact we might have on the lives of the people affected.

Karen Jean Martinson

I am thankful for the free exchange of ideas, for reasoned debate that is full of passion and respect. I am thankful that there is no limit on artistic potential in the world, that creativity is not competitive, but rather is complementary, and often collective and collaborative. I am thankful for all those I meet who open my eyes and my mind.