At this time of the year, we reflect on the blessings that have been bestowed on us. We give thanks for those blessings. We also need to remember those that have little hope for tomorrow, and include them as we reflect, for they live in the shadows of life, with little voice. It’s what caring communities do. We lift all up and say we all are part of our community, no matter your age or economic status, or your race or ethnicity, or level of capability. We are one community and should stand up for each other. It’s the work and responsibility of strong communities of people. We lift all up with hope for tomorrow and a future filled with some possibility.

Thanks to all who serve in whatever capacity, beginning with those who serve or have served to preserve our freedoms, to our elected community leaders at all levels, to our police and fire services, our hospital and health care workers, our essential services people and our educators and faith community servants and to our many nonprofit organizations.

Bob Roepke is a former Chaska mayor and serves on the Community Foundation for Carver County Board.