At first glance, it may appear there’s little to be thankful for in 2020. But a more focused look reveals plenty of reasons to celebrate our lives and this community.

Yes, 2020 has been painful. Yes, we’ve had to sacrifice far more than we’d prefer. And yes, it’s at times challenging to stay positive when we’re locked in what’s shaping up to be more than yearlong global pandemic.

But during these trying times our community has come together, evidenced by unprecedented levels of support for our nonprofit and charitable community. This is one major reason to be thankful.

More so than any other, this is a year when we must remember the true spirit of the holidays, of giving back, and of looking after others every bit as much as we look after ourselves. Loudouners, in our eyes, have answered the call.

Since the first week of the pandemic we’ve witnessed the awe-inspiring work of Loudoun Hunger Relief, the Ampersand Pantry Project, the local YMCA and various community members who have combined to serve tens of thousands of meals to neighbors in need.

We’ve witnessed the angelic work of the Loudoun Abused Women’s Shelter and Loudoun’s Domestic Abuse Response Team as they’ve fielded a rise in dangerous cases with victims essentially trapped in their homes.

We’ve seen restaurants take the painful but necessary steps of enforcing capacity limits and mask-wearing — and in some cases temporarily shut their doors — all in an attempt to keep Loudoun safer.

We’ve observed business leaders by and large accommodate their workers, parents and vulnerable adults by allowing them to telework and be flexible with their schedules. These are important leadership measures that should be applauded.

These scenes show we live in a community that cares about its neighbors. There are exceptions, sure, as there are bound to be in a county of more than 400,000 residents, but for the most part we’re proud of the way Loudoun has come together to fight the pandemic. It hasn’t been easy, and the worst may still lie ahead, but we’re proud of our community for looking out for one another. That’s something we should all be thankful for this week.

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