This time of year, Americans around the country are taking the time to exchange heartfelt messages with friends and loved ones, reflecting on the past year. They write of achievements and setbacks, of births, graduations, promotions, and moves.
These messages allow us to overcome the miles that separate us. And they allow us to continue one of the most basic American traditions that has held folks close for centuries -- the simple sharing of stories.
And as families gather around holiday tables this season, we also have the opportunity to share the stories of the change this movement has achieved together.
It is a narrative woven by individuals across America -- in big cities and small towns, hospitals and classrooms, in auto manufacturing plants and auto supply stores.
These are stories of rebuilding, and of innovation. Stories of communities breathing new life into old roads and bridges, of local plants harnessing alternative fuel into new energy. Stories of small businesses getting up, dusting themselves off, and beginning to grow again. Stories of soldiers who served multiple tours of duty in Iraq now coming home -- and enjoying the holidays this year in the company of loved ones.
These are stories of progress.
They unite us, and they are ours to share.
We've pulled many of them together in one place, PROGRESS. You can see what our reforms have meant to Americans in every state -- block by block, community by community.
Click here to read about stories of progress in your area -- and share them with your friends and family.
The reforms that we fought long and hard for are not talking points.
And their effects don't change based on the whims of politicians in Washington. They are achievements that have a real and meaningful impact on the lives of Americans around the country. They are achievements that would not have been possible without you. PROGRESS localizes them -- and brings them to life.
It tells of how a green technology business in Phoenix, Arizona, is using a grant through the Recovery Act's Transportation Electrification program to bring the first electric-drive vehicles and charging stations to cities around the country.
It tells how, thanks to closing the "donut hole" in prescription drug coverage, a diabetic woman in Burlington, Vermont will no longer have to choose between purchasing her monthly groceries or the insulin she needs to survive.
It tells about how 136,000 Pennsylvania residents' jobs were saved or created by the Recovery Act.
And about how, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, 22,900 small businesses in Utah's 2nd Congressional District are now eligible for health care tax credits -- and how 17,500 residents in Idaho's 1st with pre-existing conditions can no longer be denied coverage.
There are thousands more stories like these.
In the coming days, as we gather with our loved ones at dinner tables around the nation, let's pass them on. Let's celebrate the spirit of service and responsibility that brought them to fruition. And let's steady ourselves with the resolve to continue pressing forward.
Because the coming year will hold new challenges -- battles that have yet to be fought, and stories of progress that have yet to be written.
Take a look at the progress we've made in your area -- and share the stories you read with your friends and family:
Happy holidays, and God bless,
P.S. -- Last week, seven OFA volunteers joined me at the White House for a special meeting -- and they brought along your feedback from the Vote 2010 campaign. It was incredibly meaningful for me to be able to hear directly from supporters like you. And your input will be front and center as we plot our course moving forward into the new year. Please take a couple minutes to check out some photos and stories from the meeting.