December 2, 2015
I’ve been doing my part over the past month to help raise awareness about testicular cancer and other men’s health issues as part of Movember. And I want to thank everyone who has supported the effort, including those who said the white beard made me look like a lost senior citizen.
Monday marked the end of Movember, but I can’t decide whether to shave the beard. I may keep it a little while. It’s the holiday season and these white whiskers remind me of some jolly fella.
Actually, they make me look a little like my bulldog.
Maybe it’s the time of year, but I enjoy assessing how much we’re giving back to our community and how fortunate we are to have groups who help out.
Years ago, I served on the board of the Community Partnership for the Homeless, which has done great work over the years helping homeless veterans and families find stability, safety and security. Today, the organization is called Green Doors, a reference to the Depression-era “hobo code” that signaled a safe place (barn or house) for a homeless person to sleep.
We recently celebrated the organization’s 25th anniversary and I had the pleasure of meeting the founder, Dee Dee King. Formerly homeless herself, Dee Dee saw a need for someone to help homeless veterans in Austin and she stepped forward to provide that help.
I was asked during a sit-down with some students from Crockett High School about what it means to serve. The roots of my public service are planted deep in my childhood.
My father was a public servant and employee his entire life. He also gave back by serving as president of the school board and, in retirement, was elected to the Woodcreek City Council in Hays County. My mother was a nurse and I watched first hand how she advocated and worked to bring healthcare to people, especially kids.
Folks in my office serve the constituents of Senate District 14 every day but they’re also contributing time driving a weekly Meals on Wheels route, reading at an East Austin elementary school and mentoring. They’re true public servants and I’m proud to support them.
Lora Ann Gerson, my director of constituent services, has been a mentor to Angela since she was in first grade. Angela is now a seventh-grader at Bedichek Middle School and served as a page in the Texas Senate last session.