In December, Governor McDonnell Asks Virginians to Lend Time, Financial Support, Food and Compassionate Good-Will
– Proclaims December "Opportunity to Help Others" Month in Virginia –
In Inaugural Address, McDonnell laid out vision for a "Commonwealth of Opportunity" saying: "I ask all Virginians to continue to seek your own opportunities to get involved in the life of our Commonwealth…. We live in the most generous nation on Earth. So many Virginians give sacrificially of their time, talents and treasure, and rightly so."
RICHMOND - Joined by faith based leaders and representatives from statewide charitable organizations, Governor Bob McDonnell today proclaimed December "Opportunity to Help Others" (OTHers) month in Virginia during an afternoon press conference at the Capitol. OTHers month recognizes the ongoing need for support of faith-based and charitable organizations across the Commonwealth that help others not just during the holidays but year round. Building on his vision of creating a "Commonwealth of Opportunity," Governor McDonnell today advanced the call he made during his Inaugural Address to seek out opportunities to get involved in the life of the Commonwealth and give of time, talents and treasure. Virginians are encouraged to visit oth.virginia.gov to find out more information about how to participate in OTHers month.
Speaking about OTHers month, Governor McDonnell remarked, "This year, as many in Virginia faced tornados, a record earthquake, a hurricane and tropical storm and continued financial challenges, we saw the amazing spirit and generosity of our citizens in times of need. Without hesitation, Virginians regularly lent a hand, helped their neighbors, volunteered time and gave back to our communities. Service to others is a hallmark of all of the world's major religions. This holiday season, I ask that Virginians reflect on the many blessings in life we have been given and everything we have to be thankful for, and also take some time out of our busy lives to help those less fortunate across the Commonwealth. Here in Virginia, we have many wonderful organizations that year-round provide shelter, food and support for those in need. In December, as we prepare for the holidays and gather with friends and family to celebrate the season, I encourage all able Virginians to lend their time, financial support, food or compassionate good-will to shelters, food banks, religious or other charitable organizations."
This holiday season, the McDonnell family will be doing their part to support "Opportunity to Help Others" month. On Christmas Eve, December 24th, Governor McDonnell and his family will make their annual visit to The Healing Place in Richmond to serve lunch. Governor McDonnell and his administration will also participate in the Toys for Tots toy drive. First Lady Maureen McDonnell, through her Serving Our Service Members Families initiative, will be packaging holiday cookie care packages for deployed soldiers on December 13th at Fort Belvoir.
Virginians are encouraged to visit the "Opportunity to Help Others" website at oth.virginia.gov to watch a message from Governor McDonnell and to get information on how to support the charitable and faith-based organizations and groups represented today. OTHers month is not limited to these organizations, rather these organizations are intended to provide examples of the many ways Virginians can get involved and participate.
McDonnell was joined today by representatives from the following statewide organizations who spoke about ways to help in December:
- Boys and Girls Club
- Dominion Energy Share
- Federation of Virginia Food Banks
- Habitat for Humanity
- Red Cross
- Salvation Army
- Virginia Blood Services
He was also joined by the following faith-based leaders:
- Imam Ammar Amonette, Islamic Center of Virginia
- Mother Paul Mary, Little Sisters of the Poor
- Pandit Rangopal Iyyanger, Hindu Center of Virginia
- Pastor Chris Barras, Area 10 Faith Community
- Rabbi Ben Romer, Congregation Or Ami
- Chris Lansing, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
The Governor's "Opportunity to Help Others" month proclamation is below and can be found at this link: http://www.governor.virginia.gov/OurCommonwealth/Proclamations/2011/HelpOthers.cfm
OPPORTUNITY TO HELP OTHERS MONTH
WHEREAS, it is important to recognize and promote a sense of community among the citizens of Virginia through the support and friendship of neighbors working with one another to make our Commonwealth welcoming and prosperous; and
WHEREAS, the people of our Commonwealth have consistently demonstrated a willingness to assist one another in times of need and show appreciation for the sacrifices made for the benefit of one another throughout the year, especially those of our service men and women, both at home and abroad; and
WHEREAS, this year has seen an overwhelming outpouring of support and generosity from caring individuals across our Commonwealth who have helped many Virginians overcome hardships, including the weathering of many natural disasters, and enabled individuals to be resilient in the face of adversity; and
WHEREAS, this year has seen tremendous financial and emotional support from faith based organizations, private businesses, nonprofit entities, and volunteer organizations, which are all composed of generous individuals who help make a large impact on the long-term success of our Commonwealth; and
WHEREAS, all able Virginians are encouraged to lend their time, financial support, food and compassionate good-will to shelters, food banks, religious and other charitable organizations for the benefit of those in need; and
WHEREAS, we are appreciative of the continued efforts of our Commonwealth's churches, synagogues, mosques, temples, parks and comparable venues which allow for citizens of our Commonwealth to come together and promote a sense of community; and
WHEREAS, the many benevolent actions of the citizens of Virginia, both individually and collectively, help to strengthen the ties of friendship, neighborhood and community which truly make Virginia a Commonwealth of opportunity;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Robert F. McDonnell, do hereby recognize December 2011 as OPPORTUNITY TO HELP OTHERS MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.
In his Inaugural Address on January 16, 2010, Governor McDonnell made the following remarks about creating a "Commonwealth of Opportunity" and giving back:
As we enthusiastically pursue the vision of "A Commonwealth of Opportunity", I ask all Virginians to continue to seek your own opportunities to get involved in the life of our Commonwealth.
Half a century ago President Kennedy challenged the American people to "ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country." Today, I ask all Virginians to rise up to meet this timeless challenge.
We live in the most generous nation on Earth. So many Virginians give sacrificially of their time, talents and treasure, and rightly so. The Scriptures say, "To whom much is given, much will be required."
Right now, much is required in the nation of Haiti. And I urge all Virginians to donate to the relief efforts underway.
Here in our Commonwealth, I urge business owners to look for opportunities to sponsor a little league team, help a charity, and promote corporate responsibility in the communities in which you live and work.
I urge all the leaders of our faith communities to expand your selfless work of helping the homeless, feeding the poor, and comforting the broken hearted.
I urge the young people of Virginia to use your talents and energy to fully engage in the future of this Commonwealth.
I urge Virginians who came here from other lands to contribute your culture, your history and your traditions to our rich tapestry of life.
I urge every Virginian to take every opportunity to thank a man or woman in a law enforcement or military uniform for the preservation of our freedoms.
There is so much each one of us can do to leave this Commonwealth a better place than we found it.
No government program can substitute for the incredible good done through voluntary
actions performed freely by caring individuals every day.
To read a full transcript of Governor McDonnell's Inaugural Address, please visit: http://www.governor.virginia.gov/MediaLibrary/Speeches/2010/inaugural.cfm
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