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This fall, the First Lady and I opened the Blaine House doors for our annual food drive, and we raised more than a ton of food for the people of Maine.

Hello, this is Governor Paul LePage.

The generosity of Mainers grows each year as people travel from all parts of our State to donate food to someone whom they have never met.

Our friends at the Good Shepherd Food Bank are helping distribute that food again this year to those who need it most.

We were humbled by the hundreds of Mainers who came from across the state to give thousands of pounds of non-perishable foods. With your help, we collected 2,154 pounds of food.

As I reflect on this Thanksgiving season, I am thankful for my family and for the generous spirit of the people of Maine.

Instilling the gift of service to others was always – and still is – important to Ann and me. Our children were raised to understand that while receiving something is nice, giving to others is even more rewarding.

At this year’s food drive, I was pleased to see a group of about 10 boy scouts who traveled from southern Maine. They learned that giving back to your community is an important part of being a good citizen and a good neighbor.

As someone who has been in need, I know it is not government handouts, but the commitment and love of Maine people and community organizations, that improves lives and strengthens our State.

Government certainly should safeguard our most vulnerable, but government cannot provide everything. Government policies and programs do not change lives; people do.

Maine people have a tradition of caring for their neighbors as they care for themselves and their own families. And when you extend your goodwill, it has a way of encouraging others to do the same.

So, as we approach the hectic holiday season, let’s take a moment to pause and reflect on what it is we are thankful for, and how we can contribute to our communities and the future of Maine.

Thank you for listening. Ann and I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving.

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