Happy Thanksgiving.

There are many things we as a community should be thankful for today. I thought I'd share but a few of the highlights:

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Thank you to the children, who make us smile and give us hope for tomorrow.

This includes the children of Childhaven, who because of so many wonderful volunteers, dedicated staffers and sincere contributors, have a chance to survive their challenges and still grow up to be strong and proud.

Ditto for those at each of our emergency shelters, foster homes and churches where similar help is offered, such as at the Family Crisis Center, the Center for Independence, and so many, many others.

This newspaper could never do enough front-page stories to adequately thank those who help the children, but we try, and they deserve so much more. Most go unnoticed, but do it for the children and not the fame. Thank you.

And what about those cute faces atop the front page in Wednesday's edition, offering their own recipes for how to prepare your Thanksgiving meal? Weren't those innocent faces and humorous suggestions a refreshing breath of fresh air in childhood innocence?

God Bless the children.

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I love to see hero stories on our front page.

There are few heroes more amazing than people like Dorothy Montano, a 61-year-old custodian at Mesa Verde Elementary School.

Dorothy, you are so awesome!

Dorothy is the wonderful person we wrote about in our Nov. 5 edition who works in her supply closet — yes, in a closet — to teach Spanish-speaking kindergarten children how to speak English.


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These children often move here with parents who cannot help them, and they find teachers eager to teach them but in need of assistance to communicate.

Dorothy said "I'll help."

Here's the thing: Dorothy starts her day at 6 a.m.

Cleans up other people's messes all day long at the school until around 2 p.m.

Then goes to her second job, working a five- to six-hour shift as a grocery store cashier at Safeway.

Sundays, she works at another store, from noon until 6 p.m.

Yet this woman volunteers to teach little children who sit in their little chairs in a little closet.

Dorothy's heart is anything but little.

Thank you, Lord, for people like Dorothy Montano.

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Speaking of heroes, you can never use that word without thinking about our military service men and women who work hard to be ready or actually serve on the front lines to protect our country and our freedom.

A big thank you goes out to each and every one in uniform today, and to those who once wore the uniform, no matter where you were stationed or what your duty.

Most of us live in an extreme state of comfort when it comes to national security, and it is the men and women in uniform who help us feel so relaxed in celebrating holidays like today.

Thank you to our Navajo Code Talkers, who stepped up during their time in World War II to serve a nation and to so proudly represent their tribe.

Thank you to the veterans that local Korean vet Bruce Salisbury so actively fights to represent. Bruce recently won a big victory on behalf of all vets when he successfully got a Colorado mountain named Mount KIA/MIA for those killed or missing in action.

Thank you to the families who sacrifice their loved ones to such military duty. You are a big part of the American fabric that binds us.

Salute.

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Thank you to our givers.

This community is full of kind hearts and giving spirits, and that is a tribute worthy of note.

The Lions Club collects and redistributes eye glasses.

The Rotary Club sends needy children to the store to buy clothes.

The Kiwanis Club collects coats to help keep children from being without warmth in the harsh cold.

Churches open their cupboards to help feed the hungry.

Job programs staffed by volunteers help the unemployed find dignity and security.

The United Way is flanked by volunteers all across the local spectrum, and is successful because of private donors like you.

Even baseball gloves are given, with hopes of keeping youth out of trouble while building their love of the game. Our "Glove with Love" drive was a tremendous success this past year, and we look forward to kicking it off again soon for 2008 after hundreds of old and new ball gloves were donated at The Daily Times. Most were soon redistributed to children who could not buy their own or to special needs adults who never owned their own glove.

From necessities to toys, you are a giving community.

Today, say a word of thanks for what you have and for the many blessing you enjoy.

And, please, accept this word of thanks to you.

It's this giving spirit that makes us a community.

Troy Turner is the editor of The Daily Times. He can be contacted at P.O. Box 450, Farmington, N.M. 87499; or at tturner@daily-times.com.