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Tagged ‘The Thank You Project‘

Major General Abraham Turner

The Thank You Project

 

 

Dear Major General Turner,

 

I was lucky enough to hear you speak at the Goodwill Luncheon on March 28. After learning more about you, your career and your motivations that day, I think a great many people, including myself, owe you a good deal of gratitude.

Your distinguished military career is among the most impressive I have ever seen. Combat service during five U.S. operations. Chief of staff of the U.S. Strategic Command at Offutt Air Force Base. Commanding general at Fort Jackson. Chief and head of the Army Liaison Element for the U.S. House of Representatives. Adviser to the U.S. Secretary of State. For this level of honor and duty alone, you earn a world of thanks from every American.

But as you spoke, I was even more impressed to learn of your service as executive director of the SC Department of Employment and Workforce. That when you were asked to lead SC DEW, you did not hesitate to accept the colossal challenge. You chose — felt compelled — to do everything in your power to help South Carolina tackle the many problems of unemployment.

As our economy and state continue to soldier on through the lingering recession, I am so proud to know that you, with your passion, integrity and we-can-do-this approach, are at the helm of something that’s vital to every South Carolina resident and business owner.

I am grateful to have learned of your deep commitment and service to your hometown, home state and homeland.

I am even more grateful to have the opportunity to thank you for it.

 

Sincerely,

Julie Turner

 

The Thank You Project is a yearlong Wordsmith letter writing and blog project. I’m recognizing and thanking people who enrich my life and make my community an even better place to live. 

 

Palmetto Health Baptist Nursing Staff

The Thank You Project

 

 

Dear Nursing Staff at Palmetto Health Baptist,

Most people never see much of the difficult work you do. You work long hours — often with critically ill people — and help families who are coping with a loved one’s health crisis.

I’d never set foot in an ICU until two weeks ago, when I found myself visiting my dad as he recovered from a complex surgery. Throughout his time in the hospital I was reassured by many members of the nursing staff, but nowhere more so than in the ICU. There, the nursing staff carried themselves so professionally and assuredly that I felt more comfortable with everything happening around me.

It was while I watched the ICU staff one afternoon that it finally clicked. I realized what makes nurses so special. It’s courage. Surrounded by room after room of life hanging in the balance, I never saw an inkling of fear, only purpose, compassion and strength.

After this experience, I can honestly say I will never look at nurses the same way again. I have even more respect and appreciation than I did before.

Thank you for the hard work and generous effort you put forth to help others every day. You are inspiring.

 

Sincerely,

Julie Turner

 

The Thank You Project is a yearlong Wordsmith letter writing and blog project. I’m recognizing and thanking people who enrich my life and make my community an even better place to live. 

Keith’s K & A Automotive

The Thank You Project

 

 

Dear Keith’s K & A Automotive,

Each time I make the turn from Bethel Church Road on to Covenant Road, I get a treat. Out in the never-ending sea of street, pavement and parking lots, you’ve carefully placed thriving little islands of blooming plants, trailing roses and happy greenery.

I’ve long been grateful for the unexpected joy that blooms at your business. I applauded with the Forest Acres Appearance Commission when they honored your green thumbs a few years ago. It would be so easy for a busy small business owner to ignore those small spaces or let them go wild, but you and your staff never do.

Year after year, you nurture, plant and mulch dedicating part of your busy grounds to natural beauty. What’s so compelling is that there’s no ordinance or law requiring you to make your corner pretty. But that’s just what you do, season after season.

Each year you prove you’re more than just a part of this community. It’s part of your business plan to make your neighborhood a better place to work, live and learn.

We see your commitment on the way to Harmony School every day and it’s inspiring. Thank you!

 

Sincerely,

Julie Turner

 

The Thank You Project is a yearlong Wordsmith letter writing and blog project. I’m recognizing and thanking people who enrich my life and make my community an even better place to live. 

Satchel Ford Carpool Safety Patrol

 

The Thank You Project

 

 

Dear Satchel Ford Carpool Safety Patrol,

In our house, mornings are busy. Sometimes we oversleep. Sometimes we don’t eat a good breakfast. Sometimes we drag our heels because we wish the day started later. Many days we start on the right side of the bed, but somehow end up on the wrong side.

Then we get in the carpool line. We crawl our way up ever so slowly to the school drive. We wait if Mr. Stillwell says wait, and finally make it to the school. Then it happens. One of you opens the backseat door and cheerfully says, “Good morning!”

Did you know those words can turn someone’s day around? There have been a few days when one of you has reminded me that it is, in fact, a very good morning.

Seconds later, as I prepare to pull away from school with my spirits a little brighter, you leave me with a parting thought as you close the car door: “Have a nice day!”

I can’t even begin to tell you how important those kindnesses are in today’s world. Even if you think no one notices, someone usually does. They may not say much or even anything about something you might have said or done in the moment but your kindness will stick with them. Maybe now they’re smiling instead of scowling. Maybe they’ll be nicer to the next person they see. Maybe their bad morning has already become the best day ever.

You may never know what happens after someone pulls away from the curb, but know kindness leaves an impression. Sometimes the impression is tiny but other times it’s very deep. Your greetings and good byes make people laugh, smile, feel happier and appreciate their day a little more than they might have minutes ago.

Thank you for the many mornings you’ve brightened for me.

Sincerely,

Julie Turner

The Thank You Project is a yearlong Wordsmith letter writing and blog project. I’m recognizing and thanking people who enrich my life and make my community an even better place to live. 

Phillip

The Thank You Project

 

 

Dear Five Guys Burgers and Fries—Vista,

I just enjoyed a great lunch at your restaurant. Of course, the food was good. It is always good!

Today, though, one of the best parts of my lunch was meeting the great employee who took my lunch order. Phillip was so funny and so nice I couldn’t help but feel uplifted as I waited for my food.

For the minute or so we chatted about my order, he was so delightfully engaging and funny I knew at once I would send you a letter about him. He was so full of personality I couldn’t help but talk to him again when I saw him at the back of the restaurant. I noticed he was equally kind to my lunch partner as well.

Employees like Phillip are an exception. I took time to thank him in person for being so kind today and he was very humble and thankful.

I want you to know how much I appreciate him, as well.

You should be very proud to have an employee like Phillip behind the counter. He makes your customers’ experience so much more than an everyday lunch.

My experience with him made my afternoon brighter.

 

Sincerely,

Julie Turner

The Thank You Project is a yearlong Wordsmith letter writing and blog project. I’m recognizing and thanking people who enrich my life and make my community an even better place to live. 

The State Newspaper Carrier, Route C14454

The Thank You Project

 

 

Dear Paper Delivery Friend,

Every weekend my Saturday and Sunday mornings start with the same
comfortable ritual.

After I wake up way too early for a weekend, I start a strong pot of coffee. Once brewing begins, I tread out the door to get The State newspaper that’s tucked beneath our mailbox. When I venture outside, the day is just waking so the gray morning fuzz hides my pjs and bedhead. Then over several cups of hot coffee, while everyone else in the house is still asleep, I scour the newspaper section by section.

It’s a short two-day routine I cherish and I thank you for all the work you do to make it possible.

In this day and age, your ever-present ongoing reliability amazes me.

I am so grateful to have my newspaper, always put so carefully just right where it should be. Because of your work, the paper is never late, never wet and never, ever blowing through my front yard.

I know your workday must start absurdly early. So for every rainy, cold, crack of dawn Saturday and Sunday morning that you’re out there, I offer you a million thanks.

You make my day.

Thank you for all you do for me and every other subscriber on route C14454.

 

Sincerely,

Julie Turner

 

The Thank You Project is a yearlong Wordsmith letter writing and blog project. I’m recognizing and thanking people who enrich my life and make my community an even better place to live. 

Rachel

 

 

Dear South Carolina Ob/GYN Associates,

I’ve been a patient for years. When Dr. Grumbach said it was time for a baseline mammogram, I had good intentions of doing it.

Then, as it does for many women, life’s day-to-day fires pushed my mammogram lower, then off the ‘Things-I-Must-Remember-to-do-Now’ list. Until last week when I had my first mammogram in your office.

As a writer, you’d think I’d know what to expect. But, as your mammography technician Rachel Blume can attest, I asked a pile of questions. She answered each one thoughtfully, clearly and with a down-to-earth sense of humor that’s missing in many medical settings. I never saw a shred of impatience, never felt rushed. I felt like answering my questions was what mattered to her. Even better, it was important to her.

Rachel made me feel so at ease, the entire process seemed no worse than a blood pressure check. Then she took extra time to explain digital images and carefully explained what may or may not happen after my images are read.

Having a mammogram is important. It’s also important to have the right type of person involved in the process. I wanted to let you know that Rachel is a great clinical technician. But she takes another important step beyond her job duties.

She truly cares about your patients and the work she does. And it shows.

With great doctors like mine and wonderful employees like Rachel there’s never a reason to go anywhere else.

Sincerely,

Julie Turner

 

The Thank You Project is a yearlong Wordsmith letter writing and blog project. I’m recognizing and thanking people who enrich my life and make my community an even better place to live. 

Richard

 

 

Dear Richard,

A little over a year ago, my dear friends’ dog Elsa went missing. Today, it’s hard to believe she was only gone a week. At the time, each day dragged on like a month.

I remember little about that week. There were cold, rainy days that deepened the heartache. I remember driving for hours hoping for a glimpse of her bright yellow fur. I remember so many friends searching, putting up posters, sharing news on social media, even through they didn’t know Elsa’s family.

I remember the first pangs of resignation creeping in as days turned into a week.

While there is much I cannot recall, some moments are seared in my memory. I was eating lunch when I got the call that Elsa had been found. I remember being consumed by the need to see her. I had to see her to believe it could even possible.

As I barreled into the exam room, blinded by tears, Elsa launched at me from the floor. She was the happiest dog I’ve ever seen. The most beautiful, wiggliest, ecstatic animal imaginable. Minutes later, my friend and her daughter ran into the room. Her sweet young daughter dropped to the floor and buried her face in Elsa’s coat. The sound that came from her daughter was like nothing I’ve ever heard. Released anguish. Pure joy. Delirious relief. It rings in my ears even today. Seeing Elsa reunited with her family was an amazing, precious gift.

I will never forget how you took time to care. To coax Elsa over. To see if she had a collar and ID tag. Your efforts got Elsa back to her loving home, family and friends.

Every time I see Elsa, I think of what you did and I am grateful. You made every moment I have with Elsa possible.

Thank you for your extraordinary kindness.

 

Sincerely,

Julie Turner

The Thank You Project is a yearlong Wordsmith blog project recognizing people who need to be thanked more often for their many contributions to our lives and communities. 

Forest Acres Restaurant and Merchant Association

 

 

Dear Forest Acres Restaurant and Merchant Association,

I have lived in Forest Acres for years. I love everything about this community, from the rambling 1950’s homes to the tall leafy trees. It’s a neighborhood rich with character. That’s one of the main reasons we chose to live here.

Another thing I’ve come to appreciate more and more is Forest Acres residents’ undeniable sense of community. There’s a spirit of togetherness and familiarity that adds value to our homes.

Local events, like your fantastic Rooftop Rhythms atop Richland Mall, are opportunities for us to gather together to celebrate our community as good friends and neighbors. Every time we go, we stay later than we plan to and I have even more fun than I did the last time. In-between the music and laughs, I often look over the crowd and thank my lucky stars to be a part of something — somewhere — so wonderful.

I’m grateful to be a part of this community and proud my children are growing up in a neighborhood where we can play, learn, live and enjoy so much.

Thank you for investing in Forest Acres and its residents. Your events and businesses are carving out a pretty sweet spot in the big picture that’s Columbia, SC. And the picture just keeps getting better and better!

Sincerely,

Julie Turner

 

The Thank You Project is a yearlong Wordsmith blog project recognizing people who need to be thanked more often for their many contributions to our lives and communities. 

 

Emile

Some weeks there’s no question who will get the Thank You Project letter. Other weeks I swim around a short list until something out of the blue hijacks the letter and steals it for itself. That’s what happened this weekend. While I’ve been to the All Local Farmers’ Market many times, I gained a new appreciation for it on Saturday. The market is much more than a place to buy food. It’s a place that could and should change how you think about food and eating. Someday I will stay long enough to enjoy one of Kristian’s yummy Rosso breakfasts and toast Emile, hopefully over some of his amazing Caw Caw Creek Farm bacon.

Dear Emile,

My name is Julie Turner and I am a writer on a yearlong quest called The Thank You Project. Once a week for the next year, I am thanking someone who quietly makes my life or my community better.

When I arrived at the All Local Farmers’ Market this past weekend, I immediately knew you would get this week’s letter.

Saturday morning was cold and dreary. As my children and I rounded the corner of 701 Whaley, the sheer beauty of the market stopped me in my tracks. I could practically feel the warmth of the soft cheerful globes of light all the way out on Whaley Street. Finally making my way inside, I passed by tables of locals chattering and lingering over breakfast and was jealous until I got inside. My basket was quickly full with several types of homemade biscuits, a bag of curly City Roots spinach, fresh dill, some pre-made BLT dip and a hearty enchilada casserole that saved dinner at my house last night.

As I drove back home that morning, I found myself admiring my bounty. It was all beautiful, fresh food I would be thrilled to serve to my family and friends. I wish I could say that about more of my food and meals.

I am so grateful to have this type of market in Columbia. It’s a place to share, learn and gather as well as buy fantastic local food and goods. Thank you for the years of effort you and others put forth to make such a place possible.

Your inspiration and dedication changed the Columbia landscape in a very tangible and meaningful way for so many people. You made Columbia a better place.

Thank you for such an incredible gift to our city.

Sincerely,

Julie Turner

 

The Thank You Project is a yearlong Wordsmith blog project recognizing people who need to be thanked more often for their many contributions to our lives and communities.