Giving thanks with Project Everlast

By Mary Kate Gulick, Content Manager

buffet line 4

We’re 3 days away from Thanksgiving, our annual celebration of the abundance and love we’re so lucky to have in our lives. One look at your Facebook feed during November will remind you – you and all of your friends have a lot to be thankful for.

You’re thankful for your mom who supports you no matter what.

Thankful for your dad who taught you how to fish and to have a sense of humor.

Thankful for wonderful friends who have been there for you through thick and thin.

These are the ones I see most. We’re thankful for those in our lives who represent permanency, constancy and unconditional love. Of course we are.

What if your life didn’t have people like that?

Maybe you never knew your dad. And your mom? Well, what if she’s no longer part of your life because she couldn’t take care of you? And what if those lifelong friends were never made, because you never stayed in one place long enough growing up to cultivate those relationships?

Then what do you have to be thankful for?

This lack of permanent relationships too often characterizes the lives of kids growing up in foster care. Even so, the older youth of Project Everlast came together last week to celebrate Thanksgiving, and to give thanks for one another.

For the support they receive from other young people who understand.

akeeme isaac table

For the adults who time and time again step in to act as the unconditional presence in their lives.

tammy schalisha

For the opportunity to make their own dreams come true, and to be a voice for other young people like them.

james kris

For jokes. And laughing.

akeeme and friend

And food – candied bacon and cheesecake, especially.

Buffet line 2

And the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special. 


 And beat boxing.

Nate talks to the professional beatboxer who just entertained the crowd.

And turkey hats.

turkey heads

And new people to talk to. And mending friendships that have been neglected. And moving on after being hurt. And an extra piece of candy in the gift bags. And being welcome at every table. 

For me, I was just thankful to be a part of it. It was a night when food was more than just calories to fill our bellies and keep us moving for another day.  It was a tangible exhibit of love – there was more than we would ever need, so all we could do was keep offering more and more and more. Love heaped on plates and leftover love packed up neatly in to-go boxes, to last beyond today.


I’m thankful that all of us – and you – have more love than you’ll ever be able to use. I’m thankful that we can just give and give and give, and we’ll always have an abundant supply. It’s the miracle of being human, and it’s the means by which we can all live fuller lives.

We’re accepting donations to build care packages for young people who don’t have families to spend the holidays with. Find out how to help.

Nebraska Children's mission is to maximize the potential of Nebraska’s children, youth, and families through collaboration and community-centered impact.

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Posted in Teen/Early Adulthood

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