House Republicans encourage you to have a safe, happy, charitable December
Whatever your traditions this time of year, the holidays are a time of giving. Whether that means gifts for loved ones, time spent with family or acts of service, ’tis the season for thinking about others. That’s why many lawmakers, such as state Reps. Jim Tedder (R-Clarkston) and Jason Sheppard (R-Temperance) spend part of the month of December looking for ways to give back to the communities they serve.
In early December, Rep. Tedder took a full day to volunteer as a hawker of the Clarkston Rotary newsletter’s annual ‘Goodfellows’ edition, the sales of which aimed to outfit 300 needy children with boots, mittens and other warm winter wear. Stationed at the corner of Maybee and Dixie, the lawmaker offered passersby a chance for a little local culture with the added perk of contributing to a good cause. Alongside office staff member Michael Alaimo, Rep. Tedder raised $500.
“Michigan communities are very charitable, especially in the holiday season,” Rep. Tedder said. “Institutions like the Rotary help to focus these efforts and get resources and money directly to those in need. The Shoes for Kids project is funded this same way every year. I want to thank everyone who stopped to purchase a paper.”
Rep. Tedder was similarly gratified to report that children, themselves, were among the volunteers.
“Every year the Goodfellows paper draws in both repeat and new volunteers,” Rep. Tedder said. “The winter chill may sting a bit, but it’s a good reminder that there are those out there who have so much less than you and need the help. Both the young and old feel that empathy sincerely, and it remains with them throughout the year.”
For state Rep. Jason Sheppard, ideas like these don’t just hit close to home, they land squarely at his doorstep. An hour’s drive south of Clarkston, Rep. Sheppard opened his doors to community members December 24th for a Christmas Eve dinner. Though only in his 30s, Rep. Sheppard has maintained this tradition for about ten years.
Following a candlelit Christmas church service, the first-term lawmaker invited back to his Temperance house friends, neighbors, and church members who don’t otherwise have a place to share in a nice Christmas meal. The annual fellowship event draws in about 40 people to a large, prime rib feast. Rep. Sheppard and his wife, Melissa, serve attendees and lead in Christmas carols and other activities.
“Their company is its own gift,” Rep. Sheppard said. “The holidays are not only a time for togetherness, but for an understanding of the bonds that tie us together, regardless of blood or background. I’ve always believed that when you bring someone into your home on Christmas, they are your family, too. This year, we were all blessed to have a very big family.”
Rep. Sheppard encourages others to start their own traditions of togetherness.
As we continue through the holiday season and move forward into a brand new year, House Republicans encourage you to look for opportunities to give to the needy and connect to members in your community. After all, it’s in the spirit of the season.
“Whatever form it takes, fellowship is often the least expensive, most lasting gift you can give to another person,” Rep. Sheppard said.