For Dallas County residents Thanksgiving is more than turkey and football games on television. It’s a chance to be thankful for what matters most with those that matter most.

Alisha Bice, a banking executive from Granger says she is grateful for family.

"I’m grateful for what so many of us are grateful for, my family," she said. "Family is so important to me. I grew up with such unconditional love from my family. That love continues to grow every day and I’m able to provide that same unconditional love to my husband and children. "Through all the tough days, happy days, sad days, stressful days and joyous days, there is one constant for me… my family." Sarah Parkinson of Granger says she is most thankful for knowledge, agency, and work. "We have the God given ability to learn and grow through experiences and choices we make each day," she said. "Regardless of our current situation, if we are willing to put forth the effort–with a little learning and some hard work, we can make our lives what we want them to be. I love to learn new things and know my life and the lives of my family and friends are blessed as we all work to improve ourselves."

The chance to make a difference resounds with residents as Brad Anderson, superintendent of Woodward-Granger schools said: "I am thankful for my friends and family and for the opportunity to be able to make a positive difference in my community. "

Chuck Fuson, who heads the Granger Food Pantry at Emmanuel United Methodist Church, says he’s grateful to area folks who have "enough that they are able to share with others. I tell our clients, don’t thank me, thank those who were able to donate and help you." Fuson points out that the need to help does not go away during the holidays. The pantry welcomes donated food items as well as cash, Fuson says. For more information and hours of operation, contract the Emmanuel Methodist Church office at 515-999-2215.

Granger mom and impresario of the W-G football Concessions Stand, Jeanette Bodermann put it this way: "I thank God every day for blessings and providing for me and my family, for giving me a wonderful husband and two healthy and responsible boys, and for our family and friends. I’m also thankful for this close-knit community, and that we are fortunate to have open-minded, generous patrons, as well as proactive leaders, to provide funding for our school. Every person I’ve met throughout our 14 years in the Woodward-Granger school district has been a supportive part of our boys’ lives. It does take a village to raise a child, and I’m thankful that we’ve lived in this community."

How about the ability to stay close to loved ones? Granger’s Pam Claussen, sometimes known around the holidays as "Mrs. Claus," and said she "never thought this Grandma who just got her first Smartphone after years with her flip phone would say she is thankful for modern technology! But I am so thankful for my Smartphone and the capability to watch my new granddaughter as she’s growing up. I think about how our pioneer relatives watched their children disappear into the western horizon never to be heard from again and wonder how those mothers could have survived that. I can’t think how it would be without a picture, video, or phone conversation from my daughter who now lives 1200 miles away and is now a new mother. Thank you to all those who have made modern technology such a wonderful gift to all the mothers and grandmothers who are far away from their children and grandchildren."

In Woodward, Cheree Harp says, "I’m thankful for the fabulous staff, food, and friends at The Whistlin’ Donkey Sports Bar and Grill in Woodward! I grew up in LeClaire and Polk City and have also lived in Ankeny, Madrid, and Boone. I am a transplant to Woodward (10 years ago) and absolutely love my community!"

Also in Woodward, Adrienne Fuson says, "I am especially thankful for my newfound health and wellness thanks to the new fitness center in Woodward, Fitness by Brandie. Brandie has helped me to lose 30 pounds in only 10 weeks! She is a great motivator and has a genuine want for her students to succeed!"