Over the weekend, I organized volunteers to canvas in my neighborhood, and it was a huge success. One of my main goals I had for the day was to make sure that whoever showed up would feel welcomed and appreciated. I didn’t want anyone showing up at my house to feel like I wasn’t grateful. Knocking on doors is perhaps the hardest thing so far that I’ve done, and it’s not an easy step for most people to take. Recognizing that and honoring those that do show up is critical.

I wasn’t sure how many, if any, would show up to volunteer, but I was thrilled when six people did. My partner and I greeted each one, shook their hand, and got to know them a little bit before they went out into the neighborhood. We answered questions about the candidate and about the questions we’d ask out canvassing (as best we could). While no one took us up on the offer, we had snacks and bottled water for everyone. It was a collegial atmosphere and everyone was excited. They left to canvas with smiles on their faces and a positive attitude. It was everything I could have hoped for.

I feel so good about how the day went, if for no other reason than I know that no one felt the way I had felt the first time I went canvassing. Having that negative experience has made me a better volunteer and organizer. It’s a reminder that every experience we have can teach us something, provided we are receptive to the lesson.

Expressing gratitude is so important, but in the chaos of our world, it’s something that is easily overlooked. This weekend was a reminder of how important is it, and I am going to make it my goal to express gratitude as often as I can.

In that spirit, thank you to everyone who is reading this and following this journey. Thank you if you have taken your first step by calling your representatives or showing up to volunteer for a mission you believe in. Thank you for all your efforts in making your voices heard. The more voices there are, the stronger our democracy will be.

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