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Hello, this is First Lady Ann LePage.

The crisp fall air reminds me old man winter is on his way, and I admit winter is not my favorite season. However, it is a time when most people think not only about themselves, but also about how to help others less fortunate. The generosity of Mainers is something that will always warm my heart, especially during the holidays.

Paul and I taught all of our children about the importance of giving – whether it’s time at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter or ringing a kettle bell for a few hours. Giving doesn’t take but a little time and goodwill, which goes a long way for everyone involved.

I want to thank everyone who took the time to donate food to the third annual Blaine House Food Drive this year. In October, we extended an invitation for you to help, and you answered the call. Hundreds of people stopped by with bags and boxes of food, and they were eager to tour the Mansion. Many were quite surprised when Paul took them on a personal tour. He loves sharing the history of the House with Mainers.

The Good Shepherd Food Bank worked with us again this year, and they are still determining how many hundreds, likely thousands, of pounds of food was collected. We will share that total with you very soon.

We also have a challenge out to every Chamber of Commerce in Maine, encouraging businesses to donate to their local food pantries. A simple act of kindness has the power to make a difference, and together we can make a huge impact for those who need it most.

We know that many Mainers struggle to pay their bills, heat their homes, and put food on the table. But we also know that the spirit of Maine will help us through difficult times.

Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” His simple statement still rings true today.

Thank you for listening.

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