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In the news and on the internet, we have certainly heard plenty about what has been bad about 2020, and how much everyone is ready to say goodbye to the year. Yet, there are many things to be thankful for, including friends, family, and the health of those we love. We can also be thankful for how many businesses have been able to survive, although it has taken a lot of creativity and flexibility. Artists, musicians, actors, and arts organizations have taken a huge hit this year, and yet they have also found gratitude.

Reaching out to those who have been in the community throughout the pandemic for their job, or as a volunteer, we asked them to share their thoughts. We thank them for sharing those things that have meant so much to them this year.

“Thank you for the opportunity to publicly express my thanks…I am very thankful for the 400+ members of our community who stepped forward during a pandemic to serve as poll officials so we could conduct a safe, fair, open and honest election in Rutherford County — with historic turnout. Without them, we could not have operated as smoothly and efficiently as we did…They are one of several groups that are heroes in our community, right behind healthcare workers.”

Alan Farley
Administrator of Elections
Rutherford County Election Commission

“I am so thankful for all the healthcare providers who have sacrificed so much this year. I have many friends who have tirelessly served our community during the past 10 months.”

Pallie Jones
Community Volunteer

“I am thankful for the power of ‘community,’ especially the downtown community this year. I am also thankful for encouraging words from others to keep going during hard times!”

Sarah Callender
Executive Director
MainStreet

“I am thankful for our employees, parents, and students for working through ever-changing situations because of the pandemic. It’s amazing what can be accomplished when everyone works toward a common goal.”

James Evans, APR
Communications Director
Rutherford County Schools

“I am thankful for the awesome group of employees we work with here at the Town of Smyrna. They have been team players, and supported ever- changing work protocols when asked to keep our community and staff safe in the pandemic. They also worked to continue to provide the best service possible in changing conditions.

And on a personal note, while we have dealt with COVID, my family is all well and adapting to this new way of life.”

Brian D. Hercules
Town Manager
Town of Smyrna

“I’m thankful for the Center for the Arts staff: Denise Parton, Mark Williams and Tabby Loyal. They have been working so hard to keep the arts alive in Rutherford County. I’m also thankful for our supportive Board of Directors, loyal patrons, and talented volunteers.”

Patience Long
Executive Director
Center for the Arts

“In this crazy year with all its uncertainty and monumental change, I lost sight of one of the things that has brought joy to my heart my whole life. Music. Because with the pandemic, I stopped playing it and I even stopped listening to it. Honestly, I had not even realized it. I was too busy trying to keep a non-profit with little resource from going under.

Then one day a new volunteer with Carpe Artista offered to curate a playlist on our Spotify and YouTube channels. It was called ‘The Grateful Playlist’. That playlist was so positive and uplifting, and the music fueled joy back into my soul. So, I am very thankful for Anna and her playlist, and how it reminded me that music touches us at the deepest depths of our souls. And that sometimes our consciousness is not even aware it exists.”

Ron Alley
Executive Director
Carpe Artista

“I’m always thankful for family and friends. These folks continue to bring such joy to my life.

However, this year I am especially thankful for my work family, the ladies and gentlemen of the Rutherford County Finance Department. They work hard every year in getting our county employees, county school employees, and vendors paid on time and correctly. With the challenges of 2020 that everyone worldwide has had to deal with, the Finance Department employees have gone the extra mile and a half to ensure that our functions are covered, even working from home while battling the Covid-19 virus themselves.

I am thankful for the community in which I live, and am honored to provide support to those offices and departments that work directly with our citizens. Merry Christmas!”

Lisa Nolan
Director of Budget and Finance
Rutherford County

“I am thankful my hair is growing back (after going through cancer treatment) and no one has seen the painful process!”

Melinda Tate
Marketing Coordinator
Murfreesboro Parks and Recreation Department.


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