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Check-in with Rita: What I’m Thankful For

At GLIDE, we are thankful for the community we create and nurture here. We are especially grateful for our GLIDE community as our nation’s political and social landscape is rapidly changing after the recent election. This week we sat down with our Executive Director Rita Shimmin to discuss renewed commitment to our community as we enter the bustling holiday season. This post marks the first in our “Check-in” series with Rita, who delivers perspective and a sense of grounding during times of transition.

What is the meaning of community at GLIDE?
We invite everyone to join us in community at GLIDE. We want to make room for everyone to feel safe and that they belong. All voices and differences are welcomed and needed. We are mobilizing our community to care for each other, without exception.

What is the importance of community at GLIDE, especially now? 
I think of GLIDE as good news, good news for our community. The election and post-election period has been very disturbing to a lot people. Many people in our vulnerable and marginalized communities have felt wounded, disappointed, and are afraid. In the past couple of weeks, I have been with many different groups of people. It has been important for these groups to share their feelings and share their ideas. Gathering together helps people hold their pain and disappointment in positive ways, or at least in ways that help them to keep moving through their pain. Sharing keeps them from getting stuck in isolation, or stuck in feelings of fear, anxiety or anger. It is especially important for people to have places to come during the holidays, where they can be together in a physical space, to feel like they belong and are loved.

At GLIDE, during the holidays, there are many opportunities for people to be together. There are several holiday meals and many special events. There are Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners and Celebrations, Prime Rib dinner, Sikh Luncheon, Senior Luncheon, Holiday Gala, Grocery Bag Giveaway, Toy Bag Giveaway, Women’s Holiday Party, to name a few!
I invite everyone to join us at GLIDE during the holidays and throughout the year. Come and learn about others and share yourself. It is good to witness and be witnessed in our sorrows and in our joys. I hope to see many people join us so we can make new friends.
Happy Thanksgiving to all!