[r55] COLUMN: Being thankful and giving back this Holiday Season (11/21/2014)

Friday, November 21, 2014

Start Date: 11/21/2014 Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 11/21/2014
Being thankful and giving back this Holiday Season

In a few days, most of us will be at home enjoying a traditional Thanksgiving meal, and afterwards, maybe watching a football game or if you have kids, “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.” In Batesville, I will be relaxing with my family as we watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which is now a tradition for us. However, around this time of the year, we must also remember the true meaning of Thanksgiving — reflecting and being grateful for what we have. 

When I think back over the past year, I am thankful for the support of my family. Every interim, and throughout the legislative session, much of my time is spent traveling around our community or meeting with constituents. Nowadays, we all live busy lives and time away from home can be difficult which is why having a support system, whether it is family, friends or old teachers, is so important in our lives. For me personally, my family has always been there, and for that, I am so grateful.

I am also thankful for the opportunities I have had while representing our community at the Statehouse. This past week, on Organization Day, I was able to support and raise awareness to help end domestic violence. Every year, House Speaker Brian Bosma selects a charity to support throughout the legislation session, and this year’s charity is the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ICADV).

Along with other legislators, staff and state office holders, we collected gift cards, towels and hand cloths, bedding, pillows, kids’ art supplies and many other donations for domestic violence programs and shelters around the state. The executive director of the ICADV Laura Berry and other representatives of the organization were there to accept the donations. I was also able to listen to Curtis McManus, a victim advocate, share his story about how domestic violence impacted his family.

Curtis talked about growing up in an abusive home and his family moving in with his aunt and uncle, who had a loving relationship together. From then on, he promised to always provide a safe environment for his spouse and children and to advocate for the victims of domestic violence. As a board member of the Julian Center, a domestic violence shelter in Indianapolis, he continues to speak out against this serious issue today. 

While I listened to Curtis tell his story on Organization Day, I was thankful for the opportunity to give back to such a wonderful organization and support this worthy cause. This session, I look forward to working with legislators, on both sides of the aisle, to provide additional resources to those who serve victims of domestic violence.

With the holiday season upon us, I encourage you to reflect on the many blessings you have received and also consider and give back to those less fortunate this year. In our community and state, there are many organizations like the ICADV that provide resources, information and assistance to Hoosiers in need. Whether it is by donating, volunteering or helping to raise awareness, any contribution can make a difference. If you would like more information on ICADV or to join us in in this effort, please visit www.icadvinc.org/.

I wish you and your family many blessings this Thanksgiving and the rest of the holiday season!

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Rep. Ziemke (R-Batesville) represents portions of Rush, Fayette, Franklin, Ripley and Decatur counties.

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