In this update:
Giving Thanks for Our Blessings
“Let all of us, in accordance with our hallowed custom, foregather in our respective places of worship or in our homes and offer up prayers of thanks for our manifold blessings. Let the happiness which stems from family reunions on Thanksgiving Day be tempered with compassion and inspired by an active concern for those less fortunate in our own country and in other lands; and let us ask God’s continuing help and guidance in our conduct, both as individuals and as a Nation.” — President Dwight Eisenhower, Thanksgiving Day 1957
I wish you and your loved ones a happy Thanksgiving filled with warmth and gratitude.
Local Food Banks Benefit from Hunters Sharing the Harvest
In 2021, Pennsylvanians participating in Hunters Sharing the Harvest donated 187,000 pounds of venison to families in need, helping to make their holidays brighter.
Hunters Sharing the Harvest allows hunters to donate their extra venison to food pantries and community assistance centers across Pennsylvania via a statewide network of butchers. Over the last 31 years, the program has distributed nearly 2 million pounds of donated meat.
An average-sized deer will provide enough high-protein, low-fat meat for 200 meals. Hunters Sharing the Harvest is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity funded by public and private sources. Hunters wanting to help can find the nearest participating meat processor here.
Limiting the Hassle of Thanksgiving Travel
Nearly 55 million Americans are expected to travel 50 miles or more from home this Thanksgiving. That’s a 1.5% increase over 2021 and 98% of pre-pandemic volumes.
One way to get the most current and relevant Pennsylvania traffic information without taking your eyes off the road or your hands off the wheel is the 511PA app. 511PA provides real-time, hands-free traffic advisories for every state roadway in Pennsylvania, and for major roadways in neighboring states of New Jersey and West Virginia.
The Historic Holiday Traffic page allows users to see how traffic speeds on the Wednesday before and Sunday after Thanksgiving in 2019 and 2021 compare to traffic conditions during a typical, non-holiday week. Users can choose their region and view an hour-by-hour, color-coded representation of traffic speeds to help them decide the best times to travel during the holiday.
AAA says traffic will be lighter before 8 a.m. and after 8 p.m. on Wednesday. On Thanksgiving, the best travel times are before 11 a.m. and after 6 p.m.
Hand Over the Reins
Pennsylvania State Police (PSP), Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), and Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission just launched their Operation Safe Holiday program.
Throughout Operation Safe Holiday, law enforcement will conduct sobriety checkpoints, roving patrols, and regular traffic safety patrols beginning today, November 23, through the New Year’s holiday to crack down on drivers impaired by drugs or alcohol.
According to PennDOT data, during the 2021 holiday travel period beginning the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and running through January 2, 2022, there were 1,276 crashes involving an impaired driver, resulting in 41 fatalities.
Stay safe this holiday season with Fayette County Drug and Alcohol Commission, Inc.’s “Hand Over the Reins” program.
Around the District
Last week, I visited Wharton Elementary School’s Pre-K and 4th-grade classrooms.
Ms. Brown let me observe a typical day in the classroom and explained the benefits of her Teaching Policy Fellowship with Teach Plus to our #District32 students.
Thank you again for having me! I had a wonderful time meeting your students.
Last week, I had the opportunity to celebrate Montgomery Medical and Frontier Clinical Research’s, groundbreaking for an 18,346 square foot, $7.5M medical facility to be built in Fayette Business Park, with Fay-Penn Economic Development Council.
Congratulations again on your new business location in District 32!
Please Support Small Businesses with Holiday Shopping
While online shopping has its place, local small businesses with brick-and-mortar stores and owners who live nearby are a huge asset to communities.
Small Business Saturday is a reminder that these businesses create 65% of jobs in Pennsylvania, and the holiday shopping season is a great opportunity to support them.
Many of the goods and services offered by these businesses are locally sourced or crafted, so the effect of buying local is multiplied. Please support our local employers this season and year round.
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