Drawing: What are you thankful for this year?

otto and daisy snuggling

One thing to be thankful for: good friends.

Drawing's closed! Kathleen was the winner -- she's selected the Junior League of Troy as her charity.

This time of year is a good time to be mindful of the good things in our life -- and to give thanks. So...

What are you thankful for this year?

We'd love to hear your answer in the comments. It could be anything or anyone.

And, as is now the tradition, we'll draw one person's comment at random and AOA will donate $100 to the charity of that person's choice.

Last year's winner was Kathy -- she chose the Bethesda House in Schenectady as her charity.

OK, the Editors will start, after the jump.

Important: To be part of the drawing, you must submit your comment (that answers the question) by 5 pm on November 21, 2012. You must include a working email address (that you check regularly). The winner will be notified by 10 am on November 26 and must respond by 10 am on November 27. The choice of charity is totally subject to AOA approval (for example, we're not going to give money to People Against Puppies).

Mary: My husband. My brilliant niece and fantastic nephews. The support we get from the AOA community -- readers, contributors and advertisers. A job where I'm constantly learning something new. My husband. Awesome friends. My wonderful neighbors. Crisan. And my husband.

Greg: Watching how easily the world can just pick up a person's life and scatter it, I'm thankful to have a safe place to live and food to eat. I'm thankful for -- and very proud of -- my wife. I'm thankful for the wonderful friends and neighbors we've met in Albany. I'm thankful every time someone says they appreciate AOA or were helped by it. And I'm thankful for Otto -- he brings a lot of joy to a lot people.

Comments

There are many things I'm thankful for, but this week in particular I am very thankful for Bloomingrove Veterinary Hospital and their wonderful staff of doctors and assistants, who took good care of my furry little sweetheart when she was terribly ill last week. It put a lot in perspective, especially at this time of year, and I am so glad they were there to help us.

I am thankful for my son's wonderful school, and his terrific teachers!

i am thankful for my rescue pup. she rescued me.

I am thankful for my cat. Pets are loyal, they don't judge, and they know how to savor the little things in life. I'll be donating to the humane society this year, as they brought me my best (feline) friend.

Too many things to list. But, I'm thankful most of all for my wife, children, relatives, and friends. And for a country and community where we can disagree vigorously about politics, yet still come together (most of the time) in our daily lives to treat each other as human beings.

I am thankful for my awesomely weird and wonderful group of closeknit friends, who have definitely been there for me during a tumultuous year!

I'm thankful for my awesome husband, my adorable critters, and my great apartment in a nice neighborhood. I'm thankful that my family and friends are all in relatively good health, and that I get to share many laughs with them.

I am grateful for my health, happiness and life and the health and happiness of all my friends and family.

I'm thankful for having an amazing 2012 that helped me realize I'm surrounded by beautiful friends and family! Also thankful for having a (great) job, especially in today's economic climate. Life is good- would love to help spread the cheer around a little more with a donation to the Homeless and Traveler's Aid Society. Regardless, thank you AOA for giving someone the opportunity to do this!

Having seen the wrath of Sandy (luckily only through the media), and watching the Ken Burn's documentary on the Dust Bowl the last couple of nights, I'm grateful I have not been touched by the ravages of extreme weather. Grateful for electricity, grateful for a pantry full of food.

I'm thankful for this first full year of living in the Capital Region, as it's been a wonderful place for my husband and I to grow, make friends, and live... and eat good food. My cat is a 30-pound blessing, as well!

I'm thankful for President Obama.

I'm thankful that I live a life that, for the most part, wants for very little. I've got wonderful family and friends that I care about and that care about me, a great job that teaches me new things about myself daily, and a wife who, no matter what difficulties may come our way, I know will always be walking next to me helping me over the next hurdle. Oh, and a pretty awesome boxer named Olive, too.

I'm also thankful for people like Ellen, above, who recognize the hard work that educators put in every day helping kids throughout the Capital District!

I'm thankful for my husband and my dogs. My husband because he's a thoughtful, caring partner. My German Shepherd because she adores me and is the Best Dog in the World. My puppymutt because he reminds me every day that material possessions aren't important, we should taste everything at least once and a goofy dog is the best antidepressant.

I am thankful for my husband. He is so patient and loving and he makes me laugh!

I am thankful for my two newborn boys!

I've been watching a lot of people, some I know and some I don't, go through very difficult times with their children lately. I am so thankful that my daughter is healthy, happy, beautiful, smart, funny and most of all, NOT A TEENAGER yet!

I'm thankful for my wonderful family, the young and the old.

Thankful for my husband who has been brightening my days since 2002.

I am SO THANKFUL that President Obama was re-elected and that the Republicans, despite their campaign of fear and hate and all of the money they used to try to buy the election - they lost.

I am thankful for the good people in society - the ones who have stepped up to help victims of Hurricane Sandy any way they are able to help. I have been so moved by the stories of every day people helping other every day people. There are so many people who do care about the people who have been affected and are willing do something about it.

I am deeply thankful for my mother - who is my primary caregiver (I am disabled) - who works so hard and due to her hard work is able to provide us with a good home. Her love is the best medicine for me. If love could heal me of my illness, I would be healed!

I am also deeply grateful for my friends. I have some truly incredible people in my life and I love all of them very much.

I am so grateful for my sisters, who were wonderful friends when we were children and are even more special to me now. We have been through many difficult times together and I feel lucky to have them in my life.

I am thankful for the cleverness, stubbornness and just plain goodness I see daily in the vast, vast majority of people I meet.

I'm thankful for my family, friends, co-workers and community. It's been a year of big changes and to see the start of the year to today, I am so thankful for the support and love of so many. I live a blessed life that I'm thankful allows me to give back. Hoping everyone has a great Thanksgiving and love this tradition AOA! :)

I am thankful for my job which provides me a means to have a warm place to rest my head and to put food on the table. My job lets me do what I enjoy - helping to provide a healthy start for new moms and their infants. I am thankful for my husband- the love he shows me everyday and for his friendship. I am thankful for and proud of my son and daughter-in-law for they give me great joy. I am thankful for my grand-dog. I am thankful for the rest of my family and my friends. All of these people help give meaning to my life and for that I am thankful. Finally I am thankful for AOA - it provides another way to stay connected to some of my loved ones.

May everyone have a bountiful and safe Thanksgiving.

There is so much to be grateful for this year, but I think I am most thankful for my health and the good health of those near and dear to me. The loss of several friends and family members to illness this past year brought that blessing into even greater focus than usual.

I am thankful that I am able to volunteer for Hannah's Hope For GAN and their Heroes for Hope campaign. I spend several hours a week managing the foundations Facebook and social media pages. GAN is a rare, genetic disorder that affects many children around the world. It slowly takes away one's ability to walk, use one's hands, speak, swallow and is terminal usually by the time they reach their third decade of life. This foundation, named for Hannah Sames of Rexford, is the first dedicated to developing a cure for GAN.

Very thankful for an incredible a group of friends, the ones who've been in my life for 20 years, and the ones who came into my life more recently. Blessed to know a lot of amazing ladies!!

More than anything right now, I am thankful that my daughter has been blessed with another year of life upon this earth. No picture I could ever take, no distance I could ever drive, will ever supplant that.

I am thankful for love! The love I feel for my boyfriend, my family, my cat, my friends. The love you see in their eyes and hear in their words. It keeps me warm this time of year.

My health, a steady job, family & friends, a roof over my head, my boyfriend, a working vehicle... I could go on forever. I'm a very lucky girl.

I am thankful for a job/salary that allows me to live without roommates!

I am thankful for the health of my family and friends, being able to spend time with them during the holidays, their constant support when I need it, and my pets who make me happy no matter what. :)

I am thankful for my family, my friends, and for getting to make a life in such a great city. Thanks Albany!

I'm thankful that the cost of living up here is so nice compared to the metro NYC area.

My dog!

The electricity grid.

I'm thankful for my husband and the support he's provided during a challenging year. I'm thankful for my wonderful pets, and my family and friends. I am also thankful that we have a roof over our heads and food in the refrigerator!

An apartment with heat included, and a landlord who likes to keep the thermostat raised high in the winter.

I'm thankful for the job I just landed, the all-important health insurance that I will soon have, a family and gf who continue to love and support me in all ways, and friends who are hilarious and fun.

I am thankful that my parents and sister are happy and healthy. I am also thankful for my wonderful girlfriend Barbara.

I am grateful for www.gracefellowship.com

I am very thankful and blessed for a wonderful mom!
Love you Mom!

My job

On a lighter note: Bacon. I mean c'mon... It's meat candy.

This year I'll raise my glass of [Albany] whiskey to the Ghost of the Middle Class: may she haunt the dreams of the rich and light the fire of dissent in the rest of us.

For the first Thanksgiving in a long time, I'm thankful for having a stable, well-paying job and being financially secure enough to not be losing sleep on a nightly basis worrying about it.

I had been unemployed (or severely underemployed) since graduating from college three years ago. For those who are in that position: be persistent and try (as hard as it is) to stay positive.

I'm thankful for health, relatively stable finances, productive work that I find fulfilling, and my pajama friends. I'm thankful President Obama won a 2nd term. I'm thankful for a warm, safe place to live and the ability to share it with a benevolent spouse and two pets that would otherwise have been strays. I'm thankful for my older relatives, and my littlest nieces and cousins. And I'm thankful for lip balm.

I'm thankful for the love of my financee, and that we are finally engaged! I feel closer to him now more than ever. I am thankful for my two cats, and the house we all live in. I'm thankful for getting to spend our holidays with family, even though we don't live near each other (yay! cheap gas!). I'm thankful for Obama's second term, and that all 4 ballot initatives promoting equal rights for everyone passed!

My amazing mix of human and canine family and friends.

I'm thankful for my husband, my wedding and my marriage. The wedding went perfectly, a dream come true, and married life is more wonderful than I could've imagined, thanks to my loving and supportive hubby.

I'm also thankful for good food, and for having food and plenty of it. I tend to focus more on the food at Thanksgiving, saving the rest of my thankfulness for Xmas.

I am thankful that I am alive and more comfortable than I have a right to be, and I'm thankful that my friends and relations can say the same. I'm thankful for being employed- with a job I like - which lets me pay the mortgage and keep my cat warm.

I am thankful for the independent media and journalists who have helped bring to our collective attention President Obama's embrace, expansion, and codification of the Bush Administration's policies in such areas as the de facto elimination of Habeas Corpus, surveillance of citizens, suppression of political dissidents, indefinite detentions, extraordinary renditions, as well as the cherry on top, the once-acknowledged-yet-still-denied "kill list" that allows the President to assassinate whomever they please without trial or oversight from the other two branches of government, including American citizens.

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