By Shawn Kennedy, AJN interim editor-in-chief
Of all the holidays, Thanksgiving seems to me to be the most pure—it began way before the greeting card folks thought of it and commercialized it. And it was born out of something that often gets lost during the course of our busy days—connecting with others and saying thank you for what they do or what they mean to us.
Christine Moffa, AJN’s clinical editor, and I were discussing the holiday at a staff meeting, saying how we had never minded working on Thanksgiving. Patients, visitors, and colleagues—everyone was in a friendly, appreciative mode. Most hospital cafeterias served turkey dinners to the staff, so everyone was happy about that—and everyone got to have a real dinner break for a change!
It also seems that at Thanksgiving we’re still in the “giving” mode, maybe because it’s early in the holiday season. My first request-for-your-support e-mail this season came from photographer Ed Kashi; it’s one I’m glad he sent. Ed is an incredibly talented megastar of documentary photography (in my humble opinion); we’ve been fortunate to have some of his work grace our covers (July 2007 and our 2008 Family Caregiver supplement, as examples) and articles. His e-mail was about an online auction of photographs called Commit to Action, a collaborative project by VII Photo (a photo agency) and Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) to generate funds for MSF work around the world.
The e-mail contained images from another one of their projects, Starved for Attention, in which VII Photo members documented child malnutrition around the world. These images are sobering, especially on the day before Thanksgiving when most of us are consumed with food preparations.
I encourage you to visit these sites. While bidding on the photographs may be out of reach for many, there are two beautiful posters available for a nominal donation. You can at least sign the petition urging world leaders to provide more food aid.