"This Thanksgiving, I encourage all Americans to find a way to give back ..."
First Lady Michelle Obama didn't attend the Rose Garden ceremony today when President Obama, accompanied by daughters Malia and Sasha, pardoned the 2010 National Turkey, Apple, and his alternate, Cider. Instead, Mrs. Obama sent an email to the White House email list to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving, and to urge Americans to get involved in serving their communities.
The First Family will perform community service this afternoon at Martha's Table, a DC agency that provides food and social services to those in need. The First Family did the same at Martha's Table last year, too, packing up bags of Thanksgiving foods (Updated: Above, a photo of Mrs. Obama and daughter Malia today at Martha's Kitchen; a post about the First family's visit is here)
"This Thanksgiving, I encourage all Americans to find a way to give back," Mrs. Obama wrote. "Whether you volunteer at a local soup kitchen, visit the elderly at a nursing home or reach out to a neighbor or friend who comes from a military family, there are plenty of ways to get involved in your community."
The First Lady's Thanksgiving Message:
Thanksgiving is a great opportunity to come together with family and friends to give thanks for all the blessings in our lives. It's also an important time to be thankful for our men and women in uniform and their families who risk everything so that we can be safe and free. And we must also remember those in our community who are in need of our help and support -- especially during these tough economic times.
In our family, we have a tradition: Every year on the day before Thanksgiving, we take some time as a family to help out people in our community who are in need. Today, we're handing out turkeys, stuffing, pumpkin pies and all the Thanksgiving fixings with our friends and family at Martha's Table, a local non-profit organization.
This Thanksgiving, I encourage all Americans to find a way to give back -- and maybe even start a family tradition of your own. Whether you volunteer at a local soup kitchen, visit the elderly at a nursing home or reach out to a neighbor or friend who comes from a military family, there are plenty of ways to get involved in your community. If you're not sure how to get started, visit Serve.gov.
President Obama and I wish you and your family a very happy and safe Thanksgiving.
First Lady of the United States
Related: President Obama's Thanksgiving Proclamation is here. In advance of Thanksgiving, President Obama proclaimed Nov. 19-25 National Farm-City Week, to honor the farmers and ranchers who raise all of America's food, from livestock to crops.
*Photo by Samantha Appleton/White House