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Doing More Than Giving Thanks

In my family, Thanksgiving has always been a day for food, fellowship, and football. During the holiday season, family members are busy with activities like cooking the Thanksgiving feast, taste-testing homemade pies and throwing the football around with the grandkids. But as we make our preparations for this year’s Thanksgiving, we cannot forget to be grateful for our many blessings.

Here in Arkansas, we have a lot to be grateful for. Our state is known for its thriving agricultural community, vibrant tourism industry, breathtaking scenery and, especially, its people. We can be thankful for a year of economic growth, the creation of new jobs statewide and greater opportunities for our students and citizens to succeed. And let’s not forget to give thanks for thrilling Razorback victories over Ole Miss and LSU.

As we celebrate and give thanks, let us remember to reach out to those who may be struggling during this joyous time. For some, the holidays can be a difficult time of the year. Those in our local communities may be suffering loss, loneliness, hunger or financial hardships. These people need our prayers, our kindness and our support.

Here at the Capitol, my staff is holding an office food drive to help fight senior hunger. Many of you may be doing similar work to help the men and women in your lives at offices, schools and churches across your community. Among other things, Arkansans are naturals at helping out.

One of my favorite authors, Henry Van Dyke, once said, “There is a loftier ambition than merely to stand high in the world. It is to stoop down and lift mankind a little higher.”

This time of year isn’t just about giving—it’s about doing. For those who are able, I encourage you to find opportunities to serve others who may not be able. For those who plan to gather with family and friends, I encourage you to include people who may be alone during the holidays. Sometimes, all it takes is a warm welcome and a good meal to make a positive difference. 

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