As another year comes to a close, and many of us gather with loved ones to celebrate holidays important to our faiths and filled with traditions dear to our families, I'm reminded of the incredible spirit of giving that I witness throughout our state.
Across Ohio, volunteers and dedicated staff members work at organizations like the Joseph House in Cincinnati, or Homefull in Dayton, or the Supportive Housing Home for Veterans in Cleveland, serving homeless veterans. It is a tragedy and an embarrassment that so many who have served our country with honor lack a roof over their heads. But I'm equally heartened that so many Ohioans are helping these veterans get back on their feet.
At food banks from Kenton to Canton, I see the outpouring of donations from all walks of life. As paychecks fail to keep pace with the rising cost of raising a family, communities are stepping in to fill the void. That's why this year I fought to make permanent tax deductions for charitable donations to food banks, to support Ohioans' generosity.
And during this holiday season, it's as important as ever that we give back to our communities. If you are fortunate enough to be able to enjoy a hearty holiday meal with loved ones, I hope you will join me in helping our friends and neighbors do the same.
There are many ways we can work to enrich our state and help Ohioans who are struggling -- from volunteering, to donating canned goods and warm clothing, to speaking up for policies that invest in Ohio workers and help those who have fallen on hard times.
Service is part of the moral fabric of our state and our nation. As we look forward the New Year, let us remember that spirit of service and generosity. Together we can spread cheer beyond the holidays, and build a more compassionate, more prosperous, and more just society.
From our family to yours, Connie and I wish you a safe and happy holiday season.