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Warm wishes for peace, reflection, and healing this Thanksgiving.

Greetings to our Mercer Council Family, Extended Family, Community Partners and Mercer County Community -
It is hard to believe that the holiday season is upon us.  It has been a tumultuous year, filled with pain, suffering, sickness, loss, unpredictability, financial instability, social/physical isolation, among other hardships.  With these things, however, has come a sense of deeper connectedness, community, and the willingness to look upon the things we need to work on, within ourselves and our communities.
Mercer Council is fortunate to have so many wonderful people within our network and community to navigate these trying times with.  We want to thank you for your continued trust in and support of our agency and work.  We also want to thank you for your flexibility and willingness to reflect, regroup, and move forward with renewed outlook and energy.  We could not do this without every one of you.
As we are approaching the Thanksgiving holiday later this week, I want to recognize that for some, myself included, growing up and into adulthood, Thanksgiving was not only a day to be thankful, but also to celebrate.  While some of us, myself included, have spent this day year after year celebrating, others have been in pain and mourning the loss of their land, families, tribes, identities and the stripping of their pride and dignity.  Many communities are still struggling to overcome the harms they have faced; the very harms that led to the Thanksgiving Holiday that we all celebrate.  This year, I will be recognizing with increased clarity and awareness, my privilege and the pain of others, listening and finding ways to make amends.  Despite this holiday and it's true origins, I think it is an opportunity to reflect and be thankful for those we have and a chance to grow and promote healing.   
I know this year has been difficult in so many ways.  I hope that you all have people in your 'bubble' that you can be together safely with.  If not, I hope that you have access to the technology that can bring you together, apart.  If you are feeling alone this year, please know that you are always part of Mercer Council and we are sending you warm wishes for connection.  We are in this together, and together we are stronger.  
I am thankful for everyone walking alongside of us as we fight to be the change we hope to see.
Wishing you all a very safe and healthy holiday.  No matter where you celebrate from or who you're surrounded by, I hope you feel appreciated and cared about.
Take care and be well.
Jocelyn Cooper
Executive Director
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Tuesday, 30 May 2023

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Mercer Council on Alcoholism & Drug Addiction
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Lawrence Township, NJ  08648

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