My mother, a schoolteacher in Mansfield, taught her sons that no matter what your station is in life, no one is too important or too busy to serve.

This holiday season, I’m grateful for that lesson – and for the example set each day by so many in their communities. And I am most heartened by the sacrifices of hardworking Ohioans who struggle to make ends meet yet still make time to give to others.

A couple of years ago, I met an Ohio family who was bagging groceries for neighbors at a local food pantry. While they were long time volunteers at the food pantry, they recently had turned to its services themselves due to job loss.

It’s that indelible Ohio spirit – the eagerness to give back, to lend a helping hand even when times are hard – that encourages me.

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