I often meet people who complain that New York City is too big, too noisy and has way too many people. But I love New York and its unique diversity. I know tons of examples when complete strangers helped each other, supported people from different background and saved someone's life, dignity or property.
I remember the story of Pakistani immigrant Syed Ali who saved the synagogue Young Israel of Kings Bay from the arsonist at night. Sayid could look other way, but instead he did not hesitate to prevent this hate crime.
Every day I am happy to see my colleagues from the Community Action Center in the Comptroller's Office who are helping New Yorkers of every possible religion, ethnicity, race or income with their daily problems.
You probably read in daily papers about brave young Muslim Ahmed Khalifa, an immigrant from Sudan, who successfully pursued a criminal for his attack on a Jewish woman at Newkirk Avenue subway station. He was honored by Jewish, Black and Caribbean community leaders in Kensington.
And I vividly recall long lines of New Yorkers who wanted to donate their blood in medical centers all over the city right after September 11 terrorist attacks. I don't have enough space here to describe how New Yorkers donated their time, efforts and money to help victims of SuperStorm Sandy. You could definitely tell me similar stories.
Yes, not everybody here is a volunteer or Good Samaritan. Unfortunately, there are some criminals and jerks. But judging from my personal experience in New York City, I can tell you that overwhelming majority of my fellow New Yorkers are generous people with good hearts. They are ready to help their neighbors and treat them like their own family members.
I would like to thank all of you who care for others not only on Thanksgiving Day, but when your help is really needed. God Bless You!