Giving Back to Our Communities This Thanksgiving

As we approach Thanksgiving, Connie and I are reminded of all that we have to be grateful for this year. For us, the day marks a chance to gather with family and friends to share a meal and give thanks for our blessings.

For many Ohioans, however, this Thanksgiving marks another day when they struggle to put food on the table for themselves and their families. Nearly 1.8 million Ohioans live in poverty and every day, many hardworking Ohioans are unsure of where their next meal will come from. Those of us fortunate enough to enjoy a satisfying holiday meal with our loved ones must remember that it is our duty to serve our community and help enrich the lives of our friends and neighbors. There are so many ways for us to make an impact, from volunteering at a local food pantry to donating warm clothes as the temperature drops. No family should have to choose between food and the clothing necessary to brave an Ohio winter.

Efforts to help families facing economic distress, however, shouldn’t only fall to private citizens. In our democracy, we come together as a nation to address the largest, most serious problems. That is why Congress must also work to address these pressing needs by championing legislation that gives everyone a fair shot at the middle class life and support those who fall on hard times. That means investing in job-creating industries like manufacturing, supporting trade agreements that include protections for American workers, ensuring that workers are paid a fair living wage, and ensuring that no child ever goes hungry.

Connie and I are grateful for so many of the blessings of living in this great state – in Ohio, we have world class healthcare facilities that attract talented doctors from across the globe; we have excellent colleges and universities, each developing the next generation of leaders; and, we have a spirit of volunteerism that binds together strangers and friends alike – the compassion to reach out and help our most vulnerable community members.

On Thanksgiving, throughout the holiday season, and beyond, let us cherish our blessings and our time spent with family and friends. Let us also spread blessings to others by giving back through volunteer work.

And to our servicemembers, celebrating at home or overseas – thank you for your service. Your sacrifice for this nation is unmatched and we hope to follow your example when we go out and serve our communities.

Connie and I wish you all a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday.