Martha Roby: Sharing the true spirit of the season

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Christmas present

Martha Roby OfficialFor many of us, life can get really busy during the holiday season. There are countless errands to run, meals to prepare, friends and family to visit, and so much more. It is all too easy to become distracted from what really matters during this special time of year.

I hope we will all commit to making a dedicated effort this year to demonstrate the true spirit of the season by spreading joy and hope in our communities. In particular, I encourage all of us to spread these holiday blessings to those who will spend this time of year in more difficult circumstances than most of us.

At this very moment, there are brave men and women, moms and dads, in our Armed Forces who are stationed overseas. They won’t experience the joy of spending this Christmas at home with their families. During my time in Congress, I have had the opportunity on several occasions to participate in the American Red Cross’ Holidays for Heroes campaign by writing holiday greeting cards to our active duty military personnel stationed around the world. For me personally, this has always been a moving experiencing. Sitting down to write directly to the men and women who spend their holiday away from family so that I might be able to spend the season with my own is incredibly humbling. I encourage you to reach out to the American Red Cross Central Alabama Chapter to find out how you and your family can spread joy to our troops overseas this Christmas. The Central Alabama Chapter is located at 5015 Woods Crossing in Montgomery and can be reached by calling (334) 260-3980.

At the same time, there are individuals right here in our own communities who are less fortunate and could greatly benefit from our efforts to offer hope by lending a helping hand. For those among us who are struggling financially, fighting an illness, or dealing with emotional difficulties, the holiday season can especially challenging. There are many organizations, including charities, shelters, volunteer organizations, and food banks, in our state that help connect individuals in need to others with the means to help. There are local opportunities to provide Christmas gifts to children in families who need assistance providing them. There are other opportunities to help organizations provide food for families who are unable to afford a nice holiday meal. If you cannot commit to some of these efforts for financial reasons, you can always serve your community by volunteering. The Alabama Governor’s Office of Volunteer Services is a great place to start if you’d like to find ways to give back and offer hope to those who need it. You can reach them by visiting www.servealabama.gov or by calling (334) 242-1549.

As the busyness of the holiday season continues, let us all commit to making a special effort to spread joy to our servicemembers overseas and offer hope to those who are less fortunate by giving back to our communities. From my family to yours, Merry Christmas! We have so much to be thankful for, and I am thankful to serve you in Congress.

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Martha Roby represents Alabama’s Second Congressional District. She lives in Montgomery, Alabama, with her husband Riley and their two children.