I hope everyone in the 91st House District had a fun and healthy Thanksgiving spent with friends and family. For those who, for whatever reason, were unable to be with their family members over the holiday, I sincerely hope you will be able to get together soon.

This time of year not only reminds us of all the things we are thankful for; it often brings us face-to-face with the people we are most thankful for. I was able to spend time this Thanksgiving with my family. As some of you may know, I became an uncle late last year. Little Lewyn is growing up so fast, and I cherish the moments I get to spend with him.

Seeing him always reminds me of exactly what my work in the Ohio House is all about. Like all of us, I want the world that I leave to be better than the one I entered. When you are a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, etc., I think that feeling becomes even greater. On a personal basis, I know that the times I can spend with my nephew are ones in which I can make an impact—I can help him learn and grow. On a broader scale, working with my colleagues in the Ohio House can impact the lives of millions of young people all over this state.

We don’t want to strengthen Ohio’s economy, for instance, just because we are rooting for the home team or want to be an impressive statistic in a nationwide ranking. We want Ohio’s economy to be strong so that the men and women in younger generations have abundant opportunities to stay here if they so choose. Those opportunities allow them to be closer to home—closer to their families, friends and loved ones.

Just as important is reaching out and helping people in need, those who may not have a family to go home to or who have fallen on hard times. Being charitable—with money, time and energy—is valuable at all times of the year, but particularly during the holiday season, which can be especially difficult for some. Reaching out through conversation or a meal can make a world of difference.

Often, the biggest difference a person can make is by trying to improve the lives of those closest to home.

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