With Thanksgiving around the corner, it’s easy to get caught up in the commercialism, family, and food. I don’t have any problem with doing that, and enjoying the season, but I encourage you to take a moment to not only be grateful, but truly show your gratitude.

David Casler is an amazing example of showing his gratitude. On Sunday a deadly series of tornadoes hit the Midwest. David Casler is part of a group of volunteers that help out in disasters like that.

David is a United States Marine Veteran. He served our country in Iraq in 2004. If that sacrifice wasn’t enough, he now volunteers with a group of veterans to provide fast disaster relief. Each person on the team is trained to handle disaster relief and help the devastated residents with the tear down of their homes, often saving them $10,000.

Using David and his comrades as inspiration, I hope that we all take advantage of this time of year as an opportunity to reach out and help.

Some of us have been more blessed than others, but all of us can help out in one way or another. Volunteering for me has been one of the more rewarding ways for me to make a difference.

I remember my dad dragging me to a widows house when I was about 15. The woman had recently moved into poor living conditions and her belongings were stored in a shed with a leaky roof. The storm was just beginning when we started nailing tarps all over the unstable structure. It was one of the most cold, wet, and miserable experiences of my life – until I put my heart in the right place. Once I realized I was helping someone who couldn’t help herself, once I saw the old pictures and heirlooms we were saving, it was then that I learned to enjoy service.

There is something about serving others that is cleansing to the soul. Let’s take the time this season to help the less fortunate, to lift them up and help them out of their difficult times.