November is traditionally a time we give thanks for our blessings. Even in these challenging times, we have so many reasons to be thankful.
We honor and salute the thousands of Illinoisans who have signed up to defend our freedoms and put their lives on the line in selfless sacrifice on Nov. 11 for Veterans Day. But we should be thankful throughout the month, and every day, for the men and women who truly put public service first. I am extra thankful for those in the 40th District who joined us in our call to send cards and letters to local veterans who now live at the Illinois Veterans’ Home in Manteno to let them know we will never forget them.
Back at home, I am thankful for my father-in-law Don Scott. A veteran of three wars who spent 20 years in the Army, this man is a marvel at 95 years old. He still lives by himself and is active with the local VFW. When he won a sizeable prize in the Queen of Hearts raffle at the post, he donated it back to help pay for repairs to the concrete parking lot.
I was busy traveling the district for events this Veterans Day and wasn’t able to be with him. But I am so appreciative of his example of lifelong selfless service.
Alzheimer’s Disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in our country, and most common form of dementia in as many as 80 percent of diagnosed cases. While these numbers are staggering, I am thankful for the doctors and health care experts who are working every day to help those with this devastating disease and to find a cure as soon as possible. We recognize your efforts in November as National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month.
In my role as Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, I strive to make soil conservation a priority as we know our next harvest is only as going to be as good as the ground can produce. I am thankful for the leadership shown by the Illinois Conservation Foundation in offering four annual college scholarships of $2,000 each to high school seniors who are committed to preserving and protecting our natural resources. Visit the ICF website to learn more and to apply: http://www.ilconservation.org/.
I am thankful for leaders in our higher education system such as Tim Killeen at the University of Illinois and Cheryl Green, who leads Governors State University in serving the south suburbs. They recently hosted an important discussion about how their campuses are handling the supply chain issues created by the COVID-19 pandemic.They deserve tremendous credit for keeping our students’ educational careers on track after nearly two years of historic challenges.
With pandemic restrictions on evictions finally over, many Illinoisans now need help finding and affording housing. I am thankful that, as the winter months arrive, we have leadership in Gov. Pritzker’s Administration that refuses to let people fall through the cracks. The Illinois Rental Payment Program starts Dec. 6 – visit https://www.illinoishousinghelp.org/ to learn more.
Finally, for Thanksgiving, I am thankful for you: my dear family, friends and neighbors who allow me to serve you in Springfield, and who always step up to help us help others in need. I am thankful for your sacrifices during a health care crisis, your determination to help our school children get the education they need, and your relentless spirit to support our small businesses and families who have fallen behind.
As we head into the final weeks of 2021, we will continue to help people bounce back. I urge you to contact me anytime I can help: 708-756-0882, or at http://www.senatorpatrickjoyce.com/. I will continue to share the latest news on my website and on my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/senPatrickjoyce40/.
Sen. Patrick Joyce
D-Essex, 40th State Senate District