Liz Reitman

5 min | Leadership & Management Musings

What I’m Grateful For

Reitdesign proudly works with many non-profit organizations and the awareness it offers, the perspective it provides deepens our gratitude for the many blessings we have, especially at this time of year. When the going gets tough – as we face tense deadlines, financial challenges, health crises – we’re reminded of those who struggle to meet the most basic needs:

Food on the table – according to City Harvest, 1.2 million New Yorkers face hunger every year, a number equal in size to the entire population of San Francisco, which is one reason we opted to support/ volunteer at Neighbors Together, a Brooklyn based group providing a café and social services to residents in the Ocean Hill, Bedford-Stuyvesant & Brownsville areas. The work they do not only addresses hunger and poverty but provides resources to build a better life.

A safe place to live – while we’ll always feel the scars of 9/11, one organization transformed that awareness into a way to give back and change lives. For the past 5 years, New York Says Thank You has operated five inter-related programs focused on survivor empowerment in disaster relief, education, and the arts as a way to return the love to the thousands who supported New York City after the 9/11 attack.

Access to education – living in America, we take for granted our ability to have a quality education but not only is this not assured worldwide, it is particularly challenging in regions torn by civil war and economic strife. reitdesign has been honored to work with the Abaarso School launched in 2013 to nurture the academic, intellectual, and character development of promising Somali boys and girls, so they can effectively and ethically advance their society as the leader of tomorrow.

Clean Air to breathe – every day we’re reminded of the environmental crisis the earth is facing, something the Environmental Defense Fund is fighting hard to address on multiple levels. The most basic of all – the air we breathe – is severely threatened with air pollution, responsible for 6.4 million deaths per year), of which 600,000 are children.

Art to inspire us – lastly, especially living in New York City, we’re spoilt for choice with museums, theater, cinema, live music & dance yet those who are homeless or incarcerated do not have access to this food for the soul. A wonderful organization which addresses this deep need is Art Start which provides workshops to nurture the voices, hearts and minds of historically marginalized youth, offering a space for them to imagine, believe, and represent their creative vision for their lives and communities, so they might rise above their circumstances.

We’ve so much indeed to be grateful for and with over 13,000 non-profit organizations in New York City alone, know there are many ways to give back. This Thanksgiving take a moment to count your blessings and support a charity that touches your heart!