On behalf of the McDonald family, I wish you and yours a merry Christmas, a blessed Hanukkah and all the best in the new year – and safe travels as you visit your loved ones.
I’m looking forward to some extra time in the company of friends and family during this holiday season. Many of us are blessed beyond words in the lives we live and this is a good time to cherish all He has provided. It also is important to remember some people are facing personal challenges and the holiday season can ratchet things up. Hardships make it all the more important to remember the reason we celebrate: The birth of Jesus Christ. Please make a point of saying a prayer and, if you are able, lend a hand to those who are ill, without a job or lost a loved one.
This also is a time of year when our local food shelves often are stretched thin as they work their hardest to provide for those who need a hand. Any contributions you can make would be greatly appreciated and here are some links with more local information:
Another new helpful resource available to people in Greater Minnesota is the Farm and Rural Helpline, recently established by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture to assist those facing a variety of challenges. The helpline is designed to be a one-stop-shop of sorts for farmers to access to get referrals for mental health services, financial counseling, legal help and other resources that stressed farmers may be seeking. The helpline is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling toll-free (833) 600-2670. Click here for more from the MDA on this subject.
The end of 2017 means the 2018 legislative session is just around the corner, starting Feb. 20. Preparation already has been taking place and the pace will pick up as we enter the new year. As always, a great many challenges face our state and the Legislature will encounter difficult issues. I look forward to seeking solutions to make our state an even better place to live, work and raise a family. We will take a closer look at the issues as things ramp up after the holiday season.
I am continually reminded during the holiday season of what an honor it is to represent the fine people of our area at the Capitol. Please feel free to contact me with your thoughts, questions and concerns as we get ready to turn the page and start the fresh new year.