Commemorate Presidents Day by Giving Back

For immediate release:

Presidents Day can be so much more than a welcome break from our regular work days.

If we are to reflect on the contributions of the most honored American Presidents, Abraham Lincoln and George Washington, then instead treat this as a day of service rather than a day off.

During some of the most trying times in United States history, Presidents Washington and Lincoln did what was right, even when it was difficult.  President Washington led the country through the Revolutionary War, held the country together as the fledgling democracy sought to establish itself in the world, and then peacefully transferred power after two terms in office.

President Lincoln’s courage and stalwart leadership through the dark days of the Civil War preserved the Union, a union that is still going strong 150 years later. 

The lives these two historical giants led established values that today we hold dear.  Values like courage and commitment to community, along with a conviction that together we can create something that is bigger than us as individuals. 

In light of these principles, treating Presidents Day as a holiday of volunteerism is an excellent way to honor the memory of the sacrifices made by these two great Americans.  In fact, this practice is already happening across the country, but I hope that each year we can encourage more people to give back by drawing attention to the good work being done in our communities.

Community service provides tangible benefits, most obviously to the recipients of that service, but also to the volunteer.  Volunteers as a whole have a lower rate of depression, and it strengthens the bonds between neighbors and within communities.

So today I ask you to join me and patriotic Americans across the country to take the holiday and use it to give back through a day of service to the community. In our region, you can serve food at a local food bank, volunteer at the public library, or go with kids and spend an hour picking up trash in a neighborhood park.

A great service year round, which was a passion of my wife’s step-father, is helping build homes through Habitat for Humanity.  The local contact for Habitat for Humanity is: (916) 440-1215.

George Washington once said “Human happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected.”  By engaging in acts of volunteerism on Presidents Day, we can work towards a common goal that is bigger than us as individuals and reflect the values of, as President Lincoln once inferred, “the better angels of our nature.”

Assemblyman Ken Cooley serves the 8th Assembly District which includes the Cities of Citrus Heights, Rancho Cordova and communities such as Arden Arcade, Carmichael, Foothill Farms, Gold River, North Highlands, Rancho Murieta, Rosemont, Vineyard and Wilton.