I have so much to be thankful for this year.  I count all of you at the top of that list.  I am so honored to be a part of this organization and to be in this club with all of you. 
We are the Ace of Clubs!
One of the things that I think all of you know that is near and dear to my heart is the need for clean water.  We have partnered with the organization Aqua-Africa to do some fundraising on their behalf so that they are able to drill water wells in the South Sudan in order to provide clean drinking water.  I can’t even imagine what it much be like to have to walk miles to the river each day and walk miles back carrying several gallons of water for my family.  Water that is not sanitary even after boiling it and which causes serious disease.  I have been fortunate enough to only have to walk as far as the nearest sink and turn on a faucet. 
The issue of clean accessible drinking water is not only an issue in other countries.  We were made aware of the need for drinking water right in our back yard in the Navajo nation.  Due to the vastness of the reservation and the sparsity of the population, many there do not have access to drinking water within their homes and must rely on a water truck to deliver their water.
The people of Guaymas, Mexico do not have access to many health services.  One of them that our club helps with is the hearing health project.  This year, we served over 300 people that came to the clinic over the two days that we were there.  We provided hearing for many for the first time and allowed others to get devices fixed so that they could continue hearing.  To see a mother watch her child hear for the first time is a precious gift.  
Once again this year, we will participate in the Salvation Army bell ringing project.  The Salvation Army utilizes the funds raised during this time of year to provide many services for those less fortunate than we are right here in our neighborhoods.  What a pleasure it is to know that with our few hours of volunteer efforts, many are fed, clothed and have basic necessities met in the coming year.
Many of you have heard the phrase that freedom isn’t free.  It’s a price that has been paid for us by our many Veterans.  Mesa West participated in the Veterans Day parade this year.  We partnered with our Westwood Interact club to carry flags with veteran’s pictures from our vicinity.  What an honor to remember those that paid the ultimate sacrifice for us. 
We have awarded scholarships to many throughout the area in order that they may better their lives through the TRVFA program.  TRVFA stands for The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona.  It’s mission is to partner with Rotary Clubs to provide assistance to qualified candidates in obtaining education, training and skill development so they may, in turn, attain career oriented employment and financial stability and contribute to their communities.
These are just a few of the things that Mesa West Rotarians do to help better our world.  This doesn’t even touch on the work that is done by the International Rotary Foundation with dollars that you help fund for good throughout our world.  I am so proud and thankful to be a small part of this wonderful organization.  You are all making a difference every day. I hope that each of you is surrounded by family and friends this Thanksgiving and feel as blessed as I do.  If you are traveling, please be safe.  I will see you again in a week. 
Chris Krueger