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Giving Thanks for a Connected World

Tom Sullivan

November 21, 2017
Tom Sullivan

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Time slows down on Thanksgiving as we focus on those we love.  We savor each morsel and each minute. We don’t have to worry about giving or receiving presents or putting the focus on someone’s birthday or anniversary.  We celebrate a simple idea: that we are all together, sharing our humanity, and are grateful for the food we have, the beds we sleep in and just being in the present.


As a marketer, I am also thankful for the connected world we live in, enabled by technologies that we now take for granted. Those technologies enable me to collaborate with partner agencies around the world and with technical development experts in Eastern Europe and India. That’s good for commerce.  What I am equally grateful for is the ability to connect with people who are making a difference in the lives of others.


I have Canadian friends who have spent their lives at missionaries in Zimbabwe. We Skype regularly – both when they are in Africa and when they are home in British Columbia raising funds and mentoring the local team.  Recently they told me about an orphan boy in a village outside of Harare, the capital city. His name is Takura.


Takura was orphaned when his parents died of AIDS. He is HIV Positive and deaf due to illnesses he contracted when he didn’t have access to healthcare. Since being assisted by the missionary group, he has recovered from opportunistic illnesses. He spends his days growing produce at a local farm. The farm is designed to sustain the local community and builds capacity to take on more orphans.


Recently, however, Takura fell ill again. It was determined he needed a hip replacement operation. Doctors in the area volunteered to do the surgery but needed $6,000 for his operation and his care. Thanks to Facebook and Skype, those funds were secured quickly, and the boy’s operation is now scheduled.


The story of Takura’s situation left me reflecting on the benefits of a world that is more connected than ever before. Thanksgiving has always been a uniquely American Holiday, but this year I am particularly grateful that we can better address the needs of those in communities far from our own.


From all of us at Princeton Partners, we wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving.