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October is month in which we are reminded to give thanks for the year past. Despite the pandemic and wildfires, we at the Sorrento Centre are grateful for our life and work in the Shuswap.

As the leaves are turning and drifting down to carpet the ground with their golden glory, we look towards the coming months with anticipation of cozy blankets of white snow and plaid wool, often accompanied by hot chocolate and quiet reflection.

Now that the busy-ness of the tourism high-season in the Shuswap has come to an end, we are also taking a breath and reflecting upon the past summer and all we have to be grateful for. Despite the challenges of extreme weather and fires and the plague, we were able to welcome more guests than the year before.

We are grateful to know that for many guests, summer memories were filled with the laughter of children and the splash of water. Friends old and new gathered around campsites, finding shade on comfortable benches beneath mighty maples, relaxing on the swim dock, sharing memories and laughter and delicious meals. 

But we are also reminded that not all the guests we served this summer joined us for summer fun and vacation. Not everyone we cooked for are living with the comforts so many of us enjoy. We are ever so grateful to have been able to welcome and nourish them, one and all.

In June, our festival field was transformed to a mobile vaccination clinic as truckloads of tents and personnel and medical supplies rolled in. We are grateful to have the facilities and the space to offer vital health services to our neighbours and friends.

Not long after that, the terrifying and aggressive forest fires raged around us. We were humbled deeply and very honoured to be a safe and comfortable sanctuary for neighbours who left behind home and livelihood when evacuated. We are grateful to know we were able to offer cosy beds, nourishing food and human comfort during a time of great distress.

Simple, cherished words from one of our evacuated guests read: “just a short note to express heart felt gratitude for the great hospitality that was shown to us at our recent stay at your resort.” 

We are grateful for the opportunity to provide for vulnerable neighbours and offer meaningful employment for young people. Our commercial kitchen was busy seven days a week this summer preparing breakfasts, lunches and dinners for not only for our paying guests, but for people who are hungry in our region. As of the end of August more than 50,000 tasty and nutritious meals had been prepared and delivered daily to those in need in Salmon Arm since last spring. Perhaps you have seen our white van zipping down the highway – give a honk and wave next time!

As a gathering place for all, right here in the heart of Sorrento, we are grateful to be a hub to and contribute in meaningful ways to some of the health and social needs of our community. Mostly, we are grateful for all our neighbours and that we are grateful to be a part of this amazing community - for almost 60 years now! 

What are you grateful for? 

this article was submitted to be published in the October edition of the South Shuswap Scoop.