As Mainers gather to give thanks today, the blessings extend beyond the bounty tabled before them or even the reaffirmation of family bonds as relatives reunite.
Thankfully, there are people who look beyond their own table, their own family, to that broader community of humanity that, without them, would be diminished.
Here are 10 people for whom we are thankful as they work diligently, often without recognition, to comfort, protect, nurture and inspire, and so make our world a better place.
- Peggy Lynch, 41, of Old Orchard Beach
The Old Orchard Beach resident is being recognized for her work as an Outreach Worker at Preble Street in Portland.
Claude Rwaganje, 45, of Portland
Director of Community Financial Literacy helps immigrants and refuges better their lives through financial knowledge.
Joan Sheedy, 77, of Portland
She coordinates squadrons of volunteers with the Senior Snow Shoevling Project to make winter easier on locals.
Dr. Reed Quinn, 57, of Cumberland
The founder of the Maine Foundation for Pediatric Cardiac Surgery helps hundreds of children get needed surgeries at no cost.
Carole and Bob Leone, 61 and 59, of Edgecomb
The Edgecomb couple created Teens to Trails to share their love of the outdoors with Maine’s younger generation.
Myrna Cook, of South Portland
My Sister’s Keeper, which she founded in 1999, aids female inmates after their release from jail.
Don Simoneau, 60, of Fayette
Fayette resident soldiers on to recognize veterans with graveside flags and an upgraded World War II memorial.
Victoria Pabst, 17, of Westbrook
Westbrook High student became a role model on Twitter and no longer dreads school after standing up to bullies.
Rev. Jeff McIlwain, 54, of Portland
Volunteer brings hope and change to prisoners as the chaplain for the Cumberland County Jail.