My Ann Arbor Observer story on Thankful Townie (July issue)

“Thank you for making Ann Arbor a better place to live! Please enjoy some coffee!”

So read the letters local community leaders, politicians, small business owners, and nonprofit directors have been receiving anonymously for more than two years now. While locals often express gratitude for living in Ann Arbor, this one puts her money–or, more accurately, coffee-shop gift cards–where her mouth is.

The letters from the “Thankful Townie” come with $5-$10 worth of gift cards from RoosRoast or Sweetwaters. Past recipients include Groundcover News, the Ann Arbor Film Festival, the Aut Bar, the DDA, Kickshaw Theatre, the Delonis Center, Ann Arbor Summer Festival, 826michigan, Theatre Nova, and the Observer; politicians Chip Smith, Jeff Irwin, Sabra Briere, and Yousef Rabhi; AADL deputy directory Eli Neiburger; and county “knowledge master” Andy Brush. Recipients are invited to nominate other locals for recognition.

“There are so many amazing people doing amazing things in this town, but most of the attention always goes to a small handful of people,” Thankful Townie says in an (anonymous) interview. “I felt like more people needed to be recognized, especially those working as executive directors of organizations and small business owners, as a way of encouraging them and thanking them for working so hard and going out of their way every day to keep things going.” READ THE REST HERE

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