The ABCs of Thankfulness 

A: A for Art. “I’m thankful for ART. It allows me to see the world and all creation in a beautiful and unique way. I’m able to create with the gift God gave me and connect with others who find joy in my art. It gives me a chance to share my love of art with others…fellow artists, students, children and grandchildren. Art is my life!”

-Margie Graves Moss, Local Color Art Gallery, Joplin, Missouri 

B: B for Belong. “I’m thankful for the opportunity to belong to something bigger than myself, including my family, my employer and various organizations in my community.”  

-Will Cook, Community President, First Community Bank, Neosho, Missouri

C: C for Community. “We’re thankful for the community we serve where all of our doctors and providers are local to take care of our patients!” 

 -Paula Baker, President & CEO of Freeman Health System, Joplin, Missouri

D: D for Dog. “I’m thankful for all the dogs I’ve had growing up and leading up to now, including my new labradoodle Jake, who keeps me company nearly every day.”

-Coleman Bandy, KODE Action 12 News, Joplin, Missouri

E: E for Empathy. “I am thankful we live around so many great people who continue to show empathy. As a community, empathy is something that can drive us to be better to our neighbors, friends and family.” 

 -Jamie Lindsey, Joplin, Missouri

F: F for Fellowship. “I’m thankful for the fellowship of family and friends who enrich my life and are always there for me even when they aren’t.”

-Kathi Sikorski, Sikorski Signs, Grove, Oklahoma

G: G for God. All gifts are given by our creator. Nature’s beauty is a gift from God. 

-Helen Kersey, Joplin, Missouri

H: H for Hope. “H stands for so much that I love and believe in…my daughter and light, Haven Noel. My other H word: Hope, which reminds us to never give up. Our current situation isn’t our destination, simply a guide to make a better tomorrow!”  

-Angela Harris, Joplin, Missouri

I: I for Insurance. “I am thankful for insurance. It gives me the opportunity to help people restore their lives after something bad happens.”

 -Loretta Bailey, Joplin, Missouri

J: J for James. “I am thankful for the two Jameses‚ in my life, my husband and son. The strong family bond we share is one of life’s biggest blessings.” 

-Peggy Newton, Joplin, Missouri

K: K for Kindness. “Some of its definitions are affection, caring and concern. When any of these words are put into action, they may be life changing for others. Simply making a call, sending a card or a text, can mean so much to a lonely or hurting person. Search for that person, do your part to spread kindness; it may be a life changer for you as well.”

 -Dixie Asbell, Carl Junction, Missouri

L: L for Laughter. “I am thankful for all the laughter. No matter what’s going on inside and outside of our community, we can all come together and laugh. In our darkest moments, laughter can light the path.”  

-Mike Denny, Founder of Joplin Comedy, Joplin, Missouri

M: M for Motherhood. “I am thankful for motherhood. Having my son saved my life. Everyday he makes me a better person. Being a mother is the best thing I’ve ever done.”

 -Vanessa Copeland, Joplin, Missouri 

N: N for Nathan. “I am so grateful for my supportive husband Nathan. He is a great friend and the best listener. Nate is loyal, compassionate and the best adventure partner. Life with him is a joy!”

  -Ellis Kmetzsch, Media Relations Specialist, Mercy, Joplin, Missouri

O: O for Opportunity. “Since moving to Joplin nearly 20 years ago, this wonderful town has given me opportunity after opportunity after opportunity. And with those opportunities I have been able to reach out to the community and help people in need in various different ways. I’m so thankful for the people here who continue to support me, and that’s why I always call Joplin my home.” 

-Charlie Brown, Joplin, Missouri

P: P for Princess Paisley. “The sweetest blue-eyed little girl. With just one little smile, she brings everyone so much joy!”

-Madisun Branstetter, Neosho, Missouri

Q: Q for Quiet. “I am thankful for the quiet because it allows people time to think. Whether they are deep thoughts or simply what your afternoon will look like, it’s a good time to reflect.”  

 -Logan Walker, Junior, Carthage High School, Carthage, Missouri

R: R for Role model. “My mother is my role model. I am thankful for my mother who instilled in me the tenets of what is truly important in life. Those guiding principles are compassion for others, a strong work ethic, gratitude for the blessings in my life, and most importantly, faith in God.” 

-Gary Stubblefield, Carl Junction, Missouri

S: S for Support. “I’m thankful for friends and family that support my goals and dreams.” 

-Cheyanne Mandeville, Joplin, Missouri

T: T for Therapy. “I’m grateful I have access to a doctor who has taught me to be more resilient and take responsibility for my mental health. If mental health care was accessible for everyone, we’d be a much happier and more productive society.” 

-Kjersti McDonald, Joplin, Missouri

U: U for Unity. “I’m thankful for women who unite with each other to make a difference in the world and who lift each other up.”

 -Dori Hackleman, Joplin, Missouri

V: V for Voting. “I’m thankful to live in a country where I have the right to vote. I owe an enormous debt of gratitude to the women who came before me and fought for that right.” 

-Krystal Lambert, Joplin, Missouri

W: W for Wildlife. “I will never take for granted, and am so thankful for, the beautiful wildlife found in the Four-State Area.”

-Helene Sheeler-Johnson, Strategic Marketing Consultant, Joplin, Missouri

X: X for X-ray. “I am thankful for x-rays because they have saved me unspeakable pain in my life. They are one of the most beautiful things in the world.”   

-George Butler, Senior, Carthage High School, Carthage, Missouri

Y: Y for You. “I’m thankful to be in a time of my life that’s full of opportunity and hopefulness. I have freedom to discover who I am and what I’m passionate about, but I am also protected by the people I care about and sheltered from the harsh realities of the real world.”    

-Cora Burkhart, Freshman, Carthage High School, Carthage, Missouri

Z: Z for Ziploc bags. “Ziploc bags always keep my food fresh, and I’m very thankful for them. When I open up a Ziploc and smell that fresh sandwich smell, it puts a big smile on my face.”  

-Hailey Bryant, Freshman, Carthage High School, Carthage, Missouri