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Gratitude In Action: Why I’m Donating to MCN

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MCN Staff and Board of Directors


Last Thursday, before diving into our steaming plates of vegetable sides and stuffing, my family went around the table to say aloud a few things for which we’re grateful. It’s remarkable how, every year, our gratitude is for the most basic human needs. We’re grateful for our loving family. For a warm and safe home. For abundant food on our plates. For access to opportunities that allow us to grow and change and enjoy life -- to get an education, or to travel for the holidays, to advance in a career, or to access life-saving treatments. When I step back for a moment, and consider that we have a federal holiday, one of the most revered of the year, with the sole purpose to spend time in gratitude, I’m taken aback. Millions of us paused on the same day, to reflect on what we’re grateful for.

It’s a few days later, and the leftovers are mostly gone, but there’s something about Thanksgiving that lingers: gratitude. But something has shifted. I’m no longer reflecting on the past, thinking about what I should be grateful for. Now, I’m looking ahead. What if I put my gratitude into action? What if I let what I’m grateful for guide my actions? What would it look like? I made a list of what we talked about at the table, and then brainstormed how I could make that gratitude into an action:

I’m grateful for my family, so I will make a bigger effort to spend time with them -- especially my young nieces.
I’m grateful for the food on my plate, so I will volunteer with a local nonprofit that works to grow healthy and equitable agricultural practices in my region.
I’m grateful for my health, so I will pay it forward and support an organization that is improving access to health services for those who lack them.

Today is Giving Tuesday. I can’t express how grateful I am to work for an organization that does so much remarkable good on such a small budget. This year, our work continued to help migrant families, the most vulnerable in our country, and the clinicians that serve them, all over the world.


Our Health Network Associates saved lives, helping people connect to services even when they have to migrate.

Health Network Unselfie 2019
MCN's Health Network team use their Unselfie to tell us why they support MCN.


Our Environmental and Occupational Health team empowered parents to teach their neighbors and coworkers about how to protect children from pesticides and other chemicals, preventing illness and disease and keeping children safe.

MCN Eastern Region Unselfie 2019
The Eastern Region offices, including Maryland and Puerto Rico, gather for a group Unselfie.


Our small Puerto Rico office helped health centers mobilize for future disasters fueled by the climate catastrophe.

Puerto Rico Office Unselfie 2019
Our staff in Puerto Rico proudly show why they love MCN.


Our collaboration with the Witness to Witness program linked frontline clinicians to therapists to help them address the trauma of working with traumatized patients. This work reached areas like Paradise, where clinicians served patients fleeing the most deadly fire in California history.

MCN's Jess Candela with Molly Jolliff from the Camp Fire Long-term Recovery group
MCN's Jessica Candela meets with Molly Jolliff, a member of the Camp Fire Long Term Recovery Group.


At the Austin Ventanilla de Salud, we linked locals with low and no-cost vaccinations and lots of information and resources, to prevent the spread of disease and keep people healthy.

Dentist announces prize at Binational Health Week 2019
A dentist announces prizes at the annual Binational Health Week fair hosted by Ventanilla de Salud, MCN, and the General Consulate of Mexico in Austin.


This is just a small segment of the work we’ve done in the last year -- with a small budget and a hardworking staff --
and will continue to do in 2020.

In the spirit of Giving Tuesday, I invite you to reflect on what you’re grateful for, and consider if donating to MCN is one way to put your gratitude into action. We’ve had the great fortune to secure a matching grant from an anonymous donor, meaning your donation will be doubled, up to $10,000. I’ll be donating to MCN today -- and I hope you join me.



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