Barack and Michelle Obama Encourage Charity During Holidays

The president and FLOTUS talk about values that drive us to be better citizens.

Posted: 12/27/2013 12:06 PM EST

With the holiday season comes the gift of spending time with family and friends and showing loved ones just how grateful you are for them, but in their Christmas address, President Barack and Michelle Obama encourage Americans to also think of those they don't even know by volunteering, donating, and showing gratitude to our troops overseas.

"Our extraordinary men and women in uniform are serving so that the rest of us can enjoy the blessings we cherish during the holidays. But that means many of our troops are far from home and far from family. They're spending some extra time on the phone with their loved ones back home. Or they're setting up video chats so they can watch as the presents are opened. So today, we want all of our troops to know that you're in our thoughts and prayers this holiday season," President Obama says.

He also adds that thanks to the end of the Iraq war and the transition in Afghanistan more veterans are spending Christmas with their families at home. Meanwhile, FLOTUS and Vice President Joe Biden's wife, Jill, have started the Joining Forces initiative to find ways to support and show our appreciation for military families.

"That's the same spirit of giving that connects all of us during the holidays," President Obama says. "So many people all across the country are helping out at soup kitchens, buying gifts for children in need, or organizing food or clothing drives for their neighbors. For families like ours, that service is a chance to celebrate the birth of Christ and live out what He taught us – to love our neighbors as we would ourselves; to feed the hungry and look after the sick; to be our brother's keeper and our sister's keeper. And for all of us as Americans, regardless of our faith, those are values that can drive us to be better parents and friends, better neighbors and better citizens."

"So as we look to the New Year, let's pledge ourselves to living out those values by reaching out and lifting up those in our communities who could use a hand up," FLOTUS adds.


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(Photo: Courtesy of WhiteHouse.gov)

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