Senator Ward, J E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Wishing You a Happy Thanksgiving
  • Playing Santa? Shop Small on Saturday
  • Healthy, Free Food Available to Low-Income Seniors
  • Faith-Based Security & Resilience Learning Series
  • Preparing Pennsylvanians of All Ages for Career Success
  • Winter Life Jacket Requirement in Effect
  • Out and About in the 30th

Wishing You a Happy Thanksgiving

Pennsylvania has a rich history related to celebrating the day of thanks, as the first nationally recognized Thanksgiving was celebrated in York County in 1777. Americans had just soundly defeated the British in the Battle of Saratoga in the American Revolution. To mark the victory, the Second Continental Congress proclaimed a National Day of Thanksgiving.

The first Thanksgiving Day Parade was also held in Pennsylvania in 1920 – four years before the first Macy’s parade.

May your holiday be filled with an abundance of blessings, health and good times. In honor of the Thanksgiving holiday, my office will be closed on Thursday, Nov. 23, and Friday, Nov. 24.

Playing Santa? Shop Small on Saturday

Small Business Saturday is this weekend, a great time to shop small when thinking about gifts for the holiday season.

Small businesses account for 99.6% of Pennsylvania businesses and half of our jobs. That’s why I’ve advocated for the continued phase-out of the state’s excessive Corporate Net Income Tax – which burdens many small business operators – and voted for a host of measures this year to cut government red tape that is hampering the work of these crucial job creators.

You can find state resources on starting a small business here.

Healthy, Free Food Available to Low-Income Seniors

The Senior Food Box Program supplements low-income seniors’ diets with nutritious food, including non-fat dry and shelf-stable fluid milk, juice, oats, ready-to-eat cereal, rice, pasta, dry beans, peanut butter, canned meat, poultry, fish and canned fruits and vegetables.

To participate, individuals must be at least 60 years old and meet income eligibility guidelines. A single senior’s annual income may not exceed $18,954, and the income for a couple is capped at $25,636.

Seniors who would like to participate should call 800-468-2433 to be directed to the regional food bank distributing the Senior Food Box in their county of residence. Learn more here.

Faith-Based Security & Resilience Learning Series

Registration is now open: Faith-Based Security and Resilience Training – December 28, 2023

Preparing Pennsylvanians of All Ages for Career Success

People at any stage of their careers – and even before their careers have begun – may use SkillUp PA, Pennsylvania’s free online job training platform. The free trainings are designed to fill critical skill gaps that can be a barrier to employment, prepare people for credential or certification tests and sharpen soft job skills.

Some of the courses include Being an Effective Team Member, Essential Skills for Professional Telephone Calls, Interpersonal Communication: Listening Essentials and Thinking Critically: Coming to Terms with Assumptions.

Learn more about SkillUp and enroll here.

Winter Life Jacket Requirement in Effect

Until April 30, all boaters are required to wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket while underway or at anchor on boats less than 16 feet in length or on any kayak, canoe or paddleboard on all Pennsylvania waters.

A disproportionate number of boating fatalities occur from November to April in Pennsylvania, and cold water is one of the primary reasons. When water temperatures are less than 70 degrees, the cold water shock can cause an involuntary gasp, hyperventilation, breathlessness and a reduced ability to control breathing and swim.

A life jacket greatly increases your chance of survival in cold water. It also increases the amount of time for you to be rescued. Find more cold water survival safety tips here.

Out and About in the 30th

I had the opportunity to meet with Denise Brown and Heather Manges from The Nehemiah Project in Altoona and tour the Wright Place for Kids facility to learn about the variety of programs they offer. They are a faith-based community development organization committed to providing services designed to enhance the residents and the entire community. I was very impressed with the great work they do!

Congratulations to 1st Summit Bank on their grand opening in Altoona. 

The Giorgio Foundation hosted its annual event, “An Evening to End NF1,” at the Blair County Convention Center recently. The Giorgio Foundation is a nonprofit created to fund research for a cure of NF1; a type of Neurofibromatosis. NF1 affects approximately 1 in 3,000 individuals and is usually diagnosed in early childhood. The Giorgio Foundation has funded over $3 million for this medical research. Pictured is Erin Borzellino who is the mother of Giorgio.

The Borough of Hollidaysburg hosted its annual Winterfest parade this past weekend. It was great weather and a fun time for the community.

Pictured are friends Sam and Cindy Dunkle, members of the American Legion who sponsored the parade. Also, pictured is my little buddy Leo who enjoyed a tour inside the military vehicle.

I was invited to read to Mrs. Lori Winters’ Head Start class at Frankstown Elementary in Hollidaysburg. What a fun group of children! I am happy to support and advocate for early childhood education and Blair County Head Start!


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