A Time To Be Thankful

November is one of my favorite months (besides June because that’s my birthday!). November is a month I have chosen the last several years to use for reflection and gratitude. It is the month of Thanksgiving after all!

Over the years I have done many things during November. One of which is to write (yes, hand write and mail) a card every day to someone I am thankful for. Other years I do a small random act of kindness every day.  

This year, I wanted to find a way to show how thankful I am for the board members of Orange Effect Foundation. We couldn’t do any of our great work without them. Ironically, my telling them how thankful I am for them, resulted in me asking each of them to do a bit of work. I asked them what they were thankful for. See the wonderful variety of things they have going on in their lives and then take a moment this month to think about what you are thankful for too! Responses below are completely unedited, hence the variations in format!


Joe Pulizzi, Co-Founder

  1. For my wife
  2. Sometimes, for my kids 😉
  3. Thankful to be born in the United States. We so often take it for granted, but people that are born in the USA have better access to food, water, and employment than just about anywhere in the world. It’s easy to complain, especially during political season, but wow do we have it lucky.
  4. Thanks for printed material. In this world of get your answer in two seconds, I’m thankful for the experience of being able to lean back and enjoy a print book or magazine without an incoming message or social media notification.
  5. For my wife.

Pam Pulizzi, Co-Founder and Executive Director

I am thankful for all my friends and family who support me. I come up with some pretty wacky ideas and my amazing inner circle is always there to try new things, take time out of their busy schedules and help out whenever they can. It’s their love, their gift of time and their unconditional cheering that help me get to do all the wonderful things I do every day. 


Monica Gordon Pershey, Board Member

I’m thankful for the skillful and dedicated medical professionals who treated my family members this year. These doctors, nurses, and other providers are so knowledgeable and they perform medical procedures that require an amazing level of dexterity and precision. We are so thankful to have this quality of care!


Maureen Stanton, Program Director

I’m thankful for my sisters who are also my best friends, close friends who are like sisters, and my husband, all who help me maintain perspective through their insight and wonderful sense of humor.


Tom Leskovec, Board Member

I am thankful for opportunities. Opportunities to be surrounded by loving family and friends. Opportunities to have faith. Opportunities to learn and grow. Opportunities to do good and see good in the world.


Kristin Kelley-Erbacher, Board Member

When I run, specifically on my long runs, I pray, and reflect on all the positive in my life. Last weekend, I attempted to run in the Chicago marathon for Special Olympics, unfortunately, hypothermia took me out at mile 19.5. While I’m completely deflated, I’m thankful that experiences like this keep me humble. 

I’m thankful for the opportunity God has given me to be a mom to Addison, something I thought I would never experience. 

Thankful for my husband whose love and patience is endless. 

Thankful that, for the most part, my family is all in good health and happy. 

Thankful for my best girlfriends; we’ve known each other since childhood and are still together. 

Thankful for the body God has given me. 

Thankful that I met you! 

Thankful to be a part of OEF and the ability to help others. 


Krissy Leskovec, Secretary

There’s SO much to be thankful for, but if I have to pick just one, I’m thankful to have my parents living directly across the street from me. My dad is living with ALS and being able to walk across the street to visit, check-in, or help out is a blessing. I’m thankful that the house went on the market when it did, that it’s handicap accessible, and that it’s located on a beautiful lot. Karma was paying them back for all the good they’ve done and continue to do.


Kelly O’Connor, Board Member

I am thankful for time. Time with my kids, time with my friends, time to myself. I am so blessed to have my health and the luxury of time, something I often take for granted. Even on my busiest days I still have control over how I use my time, and for that I am truly grateful.  


Jacqueline Columbro, Board Member

When I reflect on 2019, I am thankful for finding  strength, determination, and courage to change employment locations–which taught me a great deal about personal growth and adaptability. I am thankful for the friendships that have remained constant and true, while forming new relationships and joining organizations that bring out the best in me (wink wink – OEF). I am extremely thankful to have been able to run another half marathon (completed exactly 6 years from the day I ran my first half) after coming back from multiple injuries; this has been a goal I wanted to achieve for quite some time. Most importantly, I am always grateful for my family: the values and traditions they have instilled in me, their health which allows them to be with me today, along with their unwavering love and support. Lastly, and to what I owe a great deal of gratitude: coffee.


Melissa Meehan, Board Member

I know it is so cliche, but I am so thankful for my family! This past October, 33 members of my immediate family came together with friends and more family to bid farewell to our Dad and Grandpa and celebrate his life. We all not only came together to share tears and joy and laughter but be there for each other the months before and the days after planning, sorting each and every detail of his life. So yes, in a world where we are all so busy, we can take the time to share and celebrate, but also pitch in and be there for each other for all those tasks that come with life and death. For this, I am blessed!


Cathy McPhillips, Board Member

I’m thankful for the gift of health. I’ve had some dear family who have a hard year health-wise. Thankfully, with amazing health professionals, modern technology, and positive attitudes, they’re all doing well and will recover fully. Health is something we’ve learned to not take for granted!


Pam is the Executive Director of the Orange Effect Foundation. She worked in the marketing field for the past 10 years, serving as Chief Operations Officer for Content Marketing Institute. During that time she found her passion to build and lead amazing teams because of the commitment of the staff at CMI. Pam also helped to create Content Marketing World, an event where over 3500 marketers come together annually to learn and network with the best and brightest. Pam's background is in social work, and she is raising a son with autism so the opportunity to start and direct this nonprofit is a dream come true. She has been a key leader in the CMI Golf for Autism the past 11 years and a champion for many other nonprofit organizations.

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