MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — You never know when a small idea can turn into a big project that helps people feel better, and more hopeful, about their lives. A few weeks ago, our Drexel Gilbert suggested that our viewers make chains of thanksgiving leading up to Thanksgiving Day.” A local senior center, Mercy Life of Alabama in Mobile,  saw the report and, you might say it started a “chain reaction.”

At Mercy Life of Alabama, the folks who come in each day for fellowship, meals, and fun are now excited about the new activity. They are excited about becoming a link in the center’s chain of thanksgiving.

Diane Baldwin is on staff at Mercy Life. A few weeks ago, she watched a Sunday morning Minute that encouraged viewers to write down at least one thing they are thankful for every single day of November and to turn those notes of gratitude into a paper chain.

“And I thought about how wonderful it would be to bring these links of thankfulness to Mercy life as a tangible way of providing our thankfulness, sharing what we are thankful for each day,” said Baldwin.

Because most of the participants at Mercy Life are facing serious life challenges with their health, food insecurity, transportation and loneliness, having them make a chain of thanksgiving might have seemed a tough assignment. Instead, said Baldwin, they can’t wait to grab a colored strip of paper every day and write their daily note of gratitude. The daily reasons for thanks range from the serious, such as life, health and strength, to the fanciful, like chocolate and coffee!

“It’s one thing to say what you are thankful for, but it’s another to write it down and when you join those links together, you can refer back to them on the bad days as a reminder that there is always something to be grateful for.”

Center participant Betty Richardson added, “Yes, every time you fill out a link in the chain, you know that you are thankful for something!”

So far, Mercy Life has more than 400 links that form multiple chains through the center. They are hoping to end up with 1200 links to make one continuous chain that spans the length of the building!

To watch Drexel’s original report on the Chain of Thanksgiving, click here.

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