Thanksgiving is the time of year we come together with family and give thanks for our many blessings. This year I’m most thankful for our one-year-old son, Zeke, my wife, Andrea, and our endlessly loving family members who support us at every turn. I’m also thankful for renewed economic growth which increases opportunity for future generations of Americans.
After years of poor economic performance and weak employment prospects, the economy is growing and consumer confidence is building. This trend shows how productive Americans can be when empowered to pursue opportunity. Because of this growth unemployment has fallen such that businesses nationwide are finding it difficult to fill open positions.
This is why I introduced the JOBS for Success Act earlier this year to reform the welfare system and ensure states are doing everything in their power to help TANF recipients find stable employment. Helping people find work is good for employers and good for taxpayers, but best of all for the individuals, themselves, in need of assistance. I’m thankful for such an opportunity to bring disenfranchised workers off the sidelines of our economy and into self-sufficiency.
I’m also thankful for our men and women in uniform. Having recently celebrated Veterans Day, I believe it’s appropriate such a holiday comes just before Thanksgiving to remind us of the sacrifices of so many on our behalf. I was honored to join students, faculty, staff, and members of the surrounding community at Gering Junior High School to commemorate these sacrifices and say thank you. We must also remember that many of our active duty service members won’t be able to come home for the holidays.
For this reason, my office participates in Holidays for Heroes to ensure our men and women in uniform remember how grateful we are while so many of them spend the holidays away from their families. Through this program, the American Red Cross collects cards signed by thankful Americans and distributes them to service members throughout the holidays.
My offices in Scottsbluff and Grand Island serve as collection center for these cards and we pass them along to the American Red Cross. If you would like to participate, please drop off your cards without postage at one of my offices by December 7th. This is such a small gesture we can make to show our gratitude to those who work each and every day toward protecting our families and the freedoms we enjoy. Happy Thanksgiving.