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this week ~ Thanksgiving
november 23, 2015

I am grateful for the power to enjoy so many things.
new design
be-spoke #gratitude

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Thank you! And, now ~ the story behind our featured quote...

Eleanor Roosevelt was the US’s longest-serving first lady. She turned the ceremonial position into an advocacy role, communicating with the public 6 times a week in a syndicated column ~ "My Day" ~ that ran from 1935 – 1962.

Each year around Thanksgiving, Eleanor offered readers a list of things to be grateful for, personally + politically. It was tough going during the Great Depression + WWII, but Eleanor reminded Americans that the folk tradition of Thanksgiving ~ celebrated with wild turkeys if there were any to be had + dried corn if there was any to be harvested ~ was about overcoming scarcity and hardship. As one of the first delegates to the UN, she hoped to make the November observation a world holiday for a global family.

As you gather to cook + eat together next week, here are quotes and stories to share around the dinner table.

Happy Thanksgiving from Quotabelle!

Sarah Josepha Hale
the mother of Thanksgiving

Sarah Josepha Hale_newsletter

"Thanksgiving is a festival which will never become obsolete, for it cherishes the best affections of the heart—the social and domestic ties."
source it! Sarah Josepha Hale

~ a self-taught New Hampshire author

~ a 44-year-old widow who supported her 5 children through writing {“Mary had a little lamb,” anyone?}

~ the editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book, the most popular magazine in the US

This Thursday, don't forget to give thanks to New England's Sarah Josepha Hale, who helped make Turkey Day an official federal holiday. For Sarah, the autumn harvest festival was a necessary gesture of people’s gratitude to God. When whole communities rejoice together, she argued, their celebrations have a "deep moral influence."

Her 25-year campaign ~ carried out in committees, editorials + even novels ~ ended with a famous letter sent to President Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War.

"And would it not be fitting and patriotic for him," she wrote, "to appeal to the Governors of all the States, inviting and commending these to unite in issuing proclamations for the last Thursday in November as the Day of Thanksgiving for the people of each State?"

Her lobbying for the holiday as a means to unite + heal the nation won Abe over. In 1863, he did exactly as Sarah requested. Thanksgiving has been observed on a Thursday in November ever since.

The first female editor of the US's first women’s magazine was a tireless campaigner for many causes. Explore Sarah's most famous editorials...

Sarah Josepha Hale

Maya Angelou
the beloved author + home-cook

Maya Angelou_newsletter

"I love the slow way of cooking...Not just for the taste, but because it infuses the house with an aroma that says ‘You are welcome.’"
source it! Maya Angelou

~ an abused child + young single mother from Missouri

~ a renaissance woman who worked as a fry cook, nightclub dancer, calypso singer, streetcar conductor + editor before publishing her first memoir in 1970

~ a civil rights champion, endowed professor + bestselling author

Maya Angelou may be best known for her poetry, but she was also a genius in the kitchen ~ “If you can write half as good as you can cook,” a guest once told her, “you are going to be famous.”

No surprise, Maya’s Thanksgiving celebrations were always memorable. When she was in Italy as a Rockefeller fellow, she introduced the international community to cornbread...but had to make it using polenta. Later in life, Maya collected her best soul food dishes into 2 books that mixed time-tested recipes with stories + advice.

“I try to see every day as a celebration,” she once told a food writer over biscuits + jam in her Winston-Salem kitchen. “I wasn't promised November the 10th. Nobody has sworn to me that I'll be around December 25th. No. So every day I awaken I am grateful.”

See more gems from one of the world’s most quoted {+ misquoted} women...

Maya Angelou

Ellen Gustafson
the food system change advocate

Ellen Gustafson_newsletter

"If we change dinner, we can change the world."
source it! Ellen Gustafson

~ a Jersey girl + Columbia alum

~ an author, foreign policy expert + social entrepreneur

~ the founder of FEED projects, Food Tank, The Apron Project + 30 Project

Ellen Gustafson started her career in global security policy but shifted to hunger relief when she realized that terrorist hot-zones mapped onto regions with the greatest food insecurity. She was working as the US spokesperson for the UN’s World Food Programme when she teamed up with goodwill ambassador Lauren Bush to found FEED Projects in 2007. Their company pioneered a fashion-for-good business model. In the first 4 years, their signature totes funded 60 million meals for children.

FEED Projects proved that consumers are willing to invest in change. Today, Ellen continues to lead a movement to create a healthier planet through social entrepreneurship. Her approach? Starting at home. If we think of our dinner tables as platforms, we can build a new world food order that is healthy for the environment, eaters + workers.

Discover more of Ellen’s innovative projects + policy recs worth chewing on over Thanksgiving dinner...

Ellen Gustafson

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Quotabelle news   who said it?

Thanksgiving marks the official onset of the holiday season ~ get a jumpstart on gift giving with purpose-filled products from our be-spoke by Quotabelle line!

When you purchase our artisan quote-goods on Indiegogo, you get smart presents that support our female-founded startup + its community of makers. Plus, fund the rigorous research + mobile tech that showcase new stories and quotes of remarkable women & girls ~ from history to today.

We’re saying “thanks” to our backers by offering special perks for Cyber Monday {November 30} + Giving Tuesday {December 1} ~ so be sure to keep tuning in to the campaign.

We’re grateful. Truly thankful.

"We do a potluck sort of situation, so my contribution is the house." 
"As we approach Thanksgiving; and as we experience it, and even after; I carefully maintain an attitude of gratitude. And, I have changed that old saying around from 'give 'til it hurts' and now I tell myself, give 'til it helps." 
"With a firm faith in infinite good and immortality, the most wearisome life becomes a source of triumphant thanksgiving." 

from our #citeseers
Meditations for Thanksgiving, from 2 mindfulness gurus...

Gratitude can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. I live in the space of thankfulness—and for that, I have been rewarded a million times over.

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