The Gratitude Sessions

What compels us to count our blessings and to give thanks?

NOW STREAMING: Watch “The Gratitude Sessions” at | Photos: Don Gerda and Lisa DeJong

Gratitude. We’ve all felt it. But what exactly is it? A spontaneous emotion? A lifelong mindset? Maybe both? What compels us to count our blessings and to give thanks?

Here at Cleveland Clinic, we love sharing stories about people whose generosity makes a difference for the greater good. We also love sharing stories about people who are the beneficiaries of that generosity. These two sets of people rarely have an opportunity to meet, however, let alone to share their stories with each other, face to face. Until now. 

Enter “The Gratitude Sessions.” 

The concept was simple: Bring together folks from both sides of the giving equation. No script. No guidelines. No big agenda. Just put them in the same room and see where an open-ended discussion in the spirit of gratitude leads. 

The results were emotional. Powerful. Inspiring. See for yourself at, where you can stream every episode of “The Gratitude Sessions” on video. And on the following pages, check out excerpts and candid photos from just a few of the conversations. 

Along the way, the most wonderful thing happened. Time and time again, people who greeted each other as strangers said goodbye as friends. See, that’s the thing about gratitude: It’s a two-way street. Those who receive aren’t the only ones who have reasons to be grateful; those who give do, too. Gratitude is the glue that binds us in our shared humanity. 


End Credits 

Executive Producer: Lara A. Kalafatis
Producer: Cindy Fink
Producer: John Soeder
Project Manager: Chloe I. Maxwell 
Photographer: Lisa DeJong
Photographer: Don Gerda
Photography Supervisor: Shawn Green
Designer: Michael Gallagher
Designer: Ivy Monroe
Designer: Joanne Mrosko
Designer: Leah Pirrung
Editor: Jacelyn Almanzar
Editor: Tom Leland
Editor: Elizabeth Misson
Editor: Jill Stefancin

Special thanks to Michelle Amato, Bridget Andrews, Ellen Bader, Kristie Burke, Jessica Claughton, Christina DeAngelis, Meredith Foxx, Adam Gundlah, Chelsea Knowles, Claire McBroom, Kelly Needham, Cara Nething, Mayme Patthoff, Carey Stadnick, Tiffany Vesperman and Jackie Zassick 

Thank you also to many marketing and communications colleagues working to promote "The Gratitude Sessions," with special thanks to Sam Arth, Jennifer Guerrieri Tadiello, Tyler Maddox, April Miller, Miles Sawyer-Hill, Lily Schwab, Sofia Vilar, Tora Vinci, the AdCom team and the Merkle team

Executive Producer: Brian Glazen 
Producer: Taylor Caruso 
Director: Geoff Yaw 
Director: Julia Thorndike 
Director: Bob Ruggeri 
Director of Photography: Eddie Smith 
Camera Operator: Dan Krivenki 
Gaffer: Ryan Keeper 
Production & Post Audio Engineer: Mike Carissimi 
Hair & Makeup Stylist: Giovanna Keeper 
Editor: Keith Potoczak 
Editor: John St. Pierre
Editor: Dan Krivenki 

We want to thank the stars of “The Gratitude Sessions,” our friends from all walks of life who came from near and far to meet each other and speak their truth in front of our lights, cameras and microphones. Working on this project over the past six months, we’ve learned so much from them. We hope you will, too. 

If you’ve enjoyed this sampling from “The Gratitude Sessions,” we invite you to watch the entire series online. 

We also want to hear your story. Why are you grateful? Let us know! 

To stream “The Gratitude Sessions” on video or to share your personal reflection, visit