My mother, a schoolteacher in Mansfield, taught her sons that no matter what our station 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 irrepressible Ohio spirit – the eagerness to give back, to lend a helping hand even when times are hard – that encourages me.

Our nation’s prosperity depends on a strong middle class, and the equality of opportunity that allows all people to join the middle class.

Today, more Ohioans are back at work, but we’ve still got a lot of work to do to ensure that every American who wants to work can find a job that allows them to take care of their families.

During this Thanksgiving season, I salute the spirit of volunteerism in our state and encourage all of you to reach out and volunteer.

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