Holiday television specials. Think back to the world before cable tv, before the internet, before netflicks…to the time when The Wizard of Oz was aired once a year, 8 pm on Thanksgiving night, and during certain stages of our growth and development we eagerly waited for the once a year tradition to experience the magic of a well told story, one where good faces adversity and confusion and ultimately love triumphs.

The Wizard of Oz, love triumphs, with this message as a guide, even if only one time a year back-in-the-day, we could not wait to see it again and again through many stages of life – from when we were very young – mesmerized by the art of the Wizard of Oz, or as a young parent after working all Thanksgiving to provide a meaningful holiday, setting back for a moment of reprieve while the kids glowed in front of the tv watching 3 hours of Dorothy, Tin Man, the Wicked Witch of the East, and the Wizard, or as a grandparent sharing this Mid-West genius story with grandchildren.

This is what I am reminded of today, and so many Holiday television specials like it, where a child’s belief in good, or a small act of encouragement from an elder, or a miracle from heaven shines the light of love into our lives, bringing clarity and confidence to our hearts and actions, strengthening us to go forward. And today, amid growing concerns about the pandemic, amid lowered emotions due to hard decisions about not reuniting with family and friends this holiday, amid uncertainty at the beginning of the new year, and the understanding that there have been many great losses in many lives this year, I have witnessed such amazing Hope, Belief, Caring, and Problem Solving among the people I’ve met this week. While all are affected by the very real pressures of these times, they are living lives of giving, creating community, ensuring that family is foremost – whatever it takes- this holiday, they are praying, encouraging, working, and looking ahead to all of the triumphs that good will continue to make in the world.

Happy Thanksgiving to you! Thank you for all of the positive differences you make in your life, in the lives of your family, and in the lives of so many others! May your holiday be filled with good work, fun, an a circle of love and kindness.

Thank you City Changers! Monday was the 5th Annual Boys & Girls Club of Morgan County Thanksgiving Dinner. 57 meals were prepared by Heavenly Helpings -Lisa James and served to Club families by City Changers! Different this year, families were served safety by drive through and were thankful for this meal, service and tradition of helping so that families will have a little stress lifted from their shoulders. The Club Thanksgiving has been supported by great groups and donors over the years. City Changers volunteers have made the Club Thanksgiving a regular engagement on their annual calendar. Congratulations and thank you to the Kendrick Foundation and the many donors to our Annual Campaign for your philanthropy – supporting family events and nutrition programs for the youth we serve.

Club youth making a difference! Thankful for the opportunities that let young people grow and become! So happy for Club youth Declan Coffey, who earned top recognition this week with the MCSC and IPL Holiday Art Contest and to Club Tween Lane Tucker and his Newby Classmates for leading the Pledge of Allegiance with the American Legion at the Veteran’s Day Memorial Ceremony.

Hi, we are Chris and Mary Beth Branson. We are extremely humbled to have had the opportunity to partner with the Boys & Girls Club of Morgan County during these past few months as the Honorary Chairs of Club’s Great Futures Campaign. It truly has been our honor because we have seen some incredible generosity from so many who, like us, have been impressed and moved by the important work the Club does for the youth of our community.

Even during the challenges that the Pandemic has presented, we are pleased to report that the campaign has been very successful. It is during the difficult times that we are often reminded of the goodness and blessings that surround us.

Incredible success stories are created on a daily basis of young people who have been impacted by their time spent at the Boys & Girls Club. The Club’s position is very strong, and the future is even brighter!

If you have not had the opportunity to participate yet, we encourage you to do so now. If you have already pledged, but are yet to fulfill your obligation, please do so soon. And certainly if you are inspired to assist the youth of Morgan County, please join us in making a contribution today to help the Great Futures Campaign!

Thank you Mary Beth and Chris for being-there for our mission and the youth we serve at every-turn this year! Your strength and faith provide incredible comfort and peace for so many during the tough times.

2020 will make history for the challenges we have faced and made sacrifices to overcome. It may well be remembered as a year of Light. Mooresville’s beautiful, newest holiday tradition – Mooresville Christmas Light Tour – benefitting Churches in Mission, the Boys & Girls Club of Morgan County, and Peace Restored, is happening now, through Christmas Time. Visit the brand new website: and FaceBook Page : Thank you to Suni, Cora, Sarah and the Mooresville Christmas Light Tour team!

It is ordinary people, doing extra-ordinary things like creating holiday traditions, serving meals for those experiencing challenging times, being there for one another in times of loss, lifting up family & community, giving young people their shot at shining their bright light, learning from our elders, having hope that moves us and those around us upward, giving some of what we have worked hard for so that others may have brighter futures- whatever it takes. It is values and experiences like these that make Morgan County our home. And, there will be days, when we may be far away and wish for Dorothy’s ruby slippers to bring us back to the magic and good that we have grown up with here.

With gratitude,

Chris Tann
Executive Director
Boys & Girls Club of Morgan County

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