Editor's note: The following is an open letter to Virginia Tech employees from Kevin L. Foust, chief of police and director of security. Foust is the honorary chair of the 2016 Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign.

Dear colleagues,

Next week, many of us will be surrounded by friends and family, filling our stomachs with turkey, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie, while reflecting on all of the things for which we are grateful.

I’m grateful for a loving family, loyal colleagues, and a fulfilling job that allows me to serve and protect our community. While it is important to reflect upon these things, far too often we get caught up in the “thanks” part of holiday and forget about the “giving.”

In addition to taking time to be thankful for what we have, this is also a time to focus on helping others.

While we are able to enjoy a delicious feast in the safety of our own homes, surrounded by the ones we love, others in our community are not as lucky. There are hundreds of individuals — our neighbors, friends, and coworkers — right here in our own backyards who need our help.

As members of this community and as members of humanity, it is our duty to embody the spirit of Ut Prosim (That I May Serve). The Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign (CVC) is the perfect opportunity for us to serve others this holiday season.

With only a few weeks left in this year’s campaign, we have raised more than $220,000, thanks to the generosity of 11.5 percent of our employees. Just imagine the difference we could make if each and every one of us made a donation.

A gift of just $2 per paycheck to the CVC would not only help Virginia Tech meets its goal to raise $325,000, it will make an impact on thousands of lives. And, with more than 1,000 charities to choose from, you can easily find a worthy cause to support.

Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

Take these words to heart as you celebrate Thanksgiving this year and kick off the holiday season by making a donation to the CVC.

Together, I know that we can not only meet, but exceed our goal. Let’s make more than memories this holiday season. Let’s make a difference.

Kevin L. Foust
Honorary Chair, 2016 Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign
Chief of Police and Director of Security

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