By Mayor Martin J. Walsh

Happy Thanksgiving, Boston! This is a special time to show gratitude for all the things and people that make our lives full. It’s a time for surrounding ourselves with loved ones (and watching football, of course). This uniquely American tradition brings together people, families, and communities, and deepens our connections to one another as fellow Bostonians and people.

It’s also a time to come together as a City to give back to those in need. Thanksgiving and the holidays can be difficult times for people and families who struggle to make ends meet. They may not have a permanent place to call home, or be able to put food on the table. So as we celebrate in our own ways, we must also remember to look out for one another—and show what it means to be a City of neighbors helping neighbors. 

This Thanksgiving, I’m excited to continue my tradition of volunteering with local shelters. It’s heartwarming to see so many individuals, food banks, and shelters open their doors to people and families, so that everyone can take part in a Thanksgiving celebration. To the compassionate volunteers who lend a hand on this holiday, your help is greatly appreciated. A hot meal, a place to escape the cold, and a gesture of kindness go a long way in providing comfort to someone in need. And you should take pride in knowing you’re part of a citywide effort to reach out to and support Bostonians experiencing homelessness. 

I also want to thank our many dedicated city partners who connect people to shelters and vital services. They are out on our streets, every day, making sure people know where they can find assistance if they need it. And as a City, we are always working toward our ultimate goal of getting people on the path to supportive and permanent housing. So far, we’ve housed nearly 2,000 chronically homeless individuals, including 1,000 veterans. We’ve ended chronic veteran homelessness, and we’re on our way to ending all chronic homelessness in Boston. We’ve got more work to do, but we’re making progress every day.

Our work is more than about getting people into housing. It’s about building a strong and resilient City, where all of our residents can succeed. It’s about our fundamental belief that every single person in our City deserves a chance to build a better life for themselves and their families—and to follow their dreams. And it’s about the day to day actions we can take to make even one person’s day a little brighter. 

I continue to be inspired by Bostonians who, every single day, who set an example on how to give back to their communities. I want to thank everyone who helps make Boston a stronger, more vibrant, and connected city. The spirit of giving is especially alive during the holidays, and that makes me incredibly proud to be Mayor of this great city. 

I hope you all enjoy Thanksgiving, however you celebrate. And if you have a chance, take time to volunteer at a food bank or homeless shelter, especially as we head into the cold winter months. Our city is at our strongest when we look out for one another as neighbors, friends, and fellow Bostonians. Let’s keep the spirit of giving going every day, in our communities and in our hearts. 

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