Thanks to the good guys; no thanks to the bad

The News TribuneNovember 28, 2013 

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Justin Mason of Olympia smiles as he gets served a full Thanksgiving feast during the annual Barb's Family and Friends free holiday meal at the United Churches in Olympia on Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013.

TONY OVERMAN — Staff Photographer Buy Photo

This Thanksgiving, we pay tribute to those good souls who make the world a warmer place. No strokes for those who won’t turn on the thermostat, though.

Maybe it’s the holiday spirit, but we can think of a lot more of the former than the latter. This list is far from complete:

Thanks: To Costco, Nordstrom, Sam’s Club and other stores that make a point of giving their employees the day off on Thanksgiving.

No thanks: To the growing number of stories pushing Black Friday sales into their misbegotten “Thanksgiving Thursday.”

Thanks: To food banks and kitchens coming through for hungry families who saw their food stamps reduced Nov. 1.

Thanks: To folks like Dave and Lora York of Puyallup, who headed out to do relief work — a family tradition — when Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines. Thanks to the unsung heroes who, like them, jump at the chance to help ravaged communities.

No thanks: To scam artists who crawl out of their holes to milk disasters for personal gain.

Thanks: To philanthropists like Seattle’s Jack McDonald, who left $187.6 million to Children’s Research Institute, the Salvation Army and the University of Washington Law School upon his death in September.

No thanks: For misers.

Thanks: To the anonymous wizards who made Washington’s new health insurance exchange work so well.

No thanks: To the stumblebums in the other Washington who royally botched HealthCare.gov.

Thanks: For the stunning new 500,000-lamp Zoolights display opening tomorrow at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

Thanks: To the Washington State Patrol troopers who spend holidays on dark roads nabbing drunk and reckless drivers while so many of us are celebrating in warm homes.

No thanks: For drunk and reckless drivers.

Thanks: To NASA probe Cassini for transmitting those breathtaking photos from the far side of Saturn.

No thanks: For asteroids that get too close to Earth.

Thanks: To the Humane Society of Pierce County for expanding assistance to low-income pet owners and for expanding veterinary care for shelter animals.

Thanks: To the YMCA, Boys & Girls Club and all others who provide youth with alternatives to hanging out on the streets.

Thanks: For nonprofits, religious groups and charities that feed the hungry, take in the stranger, clothe the naked, and visit the sick and the imprisoned.

Thanks: To donors who reach deep into their pockets in difficult times.

Thanks: For Thanksgiving.

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