What Thanksgiving Means To Me

By Phyllis Rhodes, Member Council President

Simply put it means kindness, gratitude, and thankfulness. As President of Member Council, I
often see and hear many stories of how community members help each other and show each other
gratitude. Honestly, it is one of my favorite parts of the job!

As we enter the month of thankfulness, I wanted to take time to express my sincere appreciation for our
community and all those who live and serve at Trinity Woods. It is with that in mind that I would like to
introduce the “Operation Gratitude Challenge.” Here is the challenge:

  1. Ask someone to join you for lunch or dinner that you have never eaten with before. Whether you are new or have lived here for years, people always walk into Charter Oak or Cypress Grille and wonder where to sit. Wouldn’t it truly be an act of kindness if we invited them to be part of our table or group?
  2. Write a note to a Trinity Woods employee. Nothing makes someone feel better than when they are appreciated. Being grateful for those who choose to work here is something I know many of you do all the time, but this month be intentional about seeking out an employee to show them how grateful you are that they work here.
  3. Send a thank you note to a Trinity Woods neighbor or friend. Our neighbors help us in many ways – whether it’s a smile or saying good morning or even checking on us when we haven’t been feeling well. Aren’t you thankful you live in a community where people truly care about you and your well-being? Take a minute to let them know you are thankful for their thoughtfulness.

Whether you accept my challenge and do one or all three of these suggestions, I hope you take time to truly embrace a spirit of gratitude. The Wellness Team has agreed to help us in this endeavor. There will be thank you cards at the Wellness Reservation Boxes for you to fill out. You may place completed notes for employees or members in the
boxes for them to be delivered or you can deliver them yourself to that special person.

Over 65 Years of Neighbor Helping Neighbor

What exactly does that mean – neighbor helping neighbor? Neighbors play an important
role in our community and our lives. Throughout your life I am sure interactions with
neighbors has meant many things – borrowing a cup of sugar, babysitting, yard chores, or
sharing a meal. But when you live at Trinity Woods, it means so much more.

When we did the research for our new name, people used terms like “neighbor” and
“kindness” to describe the community. I remember thinking, “Isn’t that interesting but
not surprising.” We have always been a community where love of and kindness to others
defines our very essence. Like the traveling stranger in the parable of the Good Samaritan,
we have all been “beaten up” by the world around us. We have all been abandoned “on the
side of the road” of disillusionment, loneliness, or despair. All of us need others to show
us grace and mercy.

Since announcing our new name, I have been overwhelmed by seeing this “neighbor”
persona in action. Just last month, I heard story after story of neighbor assisting neighbor
when a storm knocked out the power in one of the buildings on campus. Neighbors going
door-to-door to check on each other, neighbors walking flights of stairs to bring others

I think of the group of widows who live on campus who share a deep friendship. In fact,
they describe each other as “a best friend.” When I asked about the length of their
friendship, they told me they had only met since living at Trinity Woods. Isn’t that amazing,
discovering your best friend in life here?

I could go on and on about our community members and their stories of friendship and
kindness – or as we call it “being neighborly”. That is what living at Trinity Woods is all
about – neighbors helping, welcoming, and extending grace to others. I think our ads
say it best “everyone being welcome just comes naturally…seems like the Christian and
neighborly, thing to do.”

What Now?

Take the Next Step