Time to give thanks for what we have

The leaves are changing color, the mornings are becoming brisk and all Kentuckians know that blustery fall weather is around the corner.

It is hard to believe but we are halfway through November and the holidays are nearly upon us.

The older I get, my father’s words and advice continue to ring true in my life: time does move faster the older you get. And as Thanksgiving quickly approaches, the legislature continues to hold Interim Joint Committee meetings throughout the Commonwealth and in Frankfort.

This Thanksgiving season, I reflect on the blessings of our liberties.

Let us never forget that we cannot rightfully celebrate the joy of freedom without remembering the great price paid for that freedom. We stagger at the eternal debt we owe to the untold number of American veterans who chose to set aside their personal ambitions and dreams to assure the well-being of our great nation. Many of these veterans, and soldiers who defend our country still, need our compassion and our support.

So to honor that debt, I would ask you to take time to honor service members, past and present, by finding a way to help them.  Reach out to our local Veterans Affairs offices and veteran-serving organizations and find a way to volunteer your time, talent or financial assistance.

I also want to remember those who are most vulnerable in our communities, especially during the colder winter months. I encourage you and your family to reach out in whatever means possible to ensure the homeless are sheltered and the hungry are fed this holiday season. There are so many ways we can give back to our community. Volunteering with your local church, food bank or homeless shelter is a wonderful place to start.

Many of our cities also host a number of family-friendly holiday events, like the Christmas parade, in the days leading up to Thanksgiving and Christmas.

This is a great time to get to know your neighbors and fellow citizens in addition to supporting our small local businesses. Please consider our locally-owned stores for your Christmas gift shopping this season — our small business owners are the backbone of our community.

Finally, I want you to know that I have been hearing your legislative questions and concerns. Although we have been busy in Frankfort preparing for a possible special session and the upcoming 2018 budget, I always look forward to being home in my district hearing from constituents and spending time with family and friends.

I hope you and your family have a blessed and safe Thanksgiving.

Please feel free to call me about this issue or any other public policy issue toll-free at 1-800-372-7181 or email me at Ralph.Alvarado@LRC.ky.gov.

You can also review the legislature’s work online at www.lrc.ky.gov.

Sen. Ralph Alvarado (R-Winchester) represents the 28th State Senate District including Clark and Montgomery counties and the eastern portion of Fayette County.