"As we celebrate the holidays and look forward to the New Year, we should keep the less fortunate in not only our thoughts and prayers, but in our actions as well.
"At home and abroad, 2005 will be remembered as a year when so many experienced loss from natural disasters. Beginning with the South Asian Tsunami at the end of 2004, continuing with destruction brought on by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the horrific earthquake that killed thousands in Central Asia and the public health crises throughout Africa, this has been difficult year for so many.
"As Americans, we should always count our blessings, but we must recognize our responsibility to help those in need. This holiday season, let's not forget those who have fallen on hard times, whether they live overseas, in New Orleans or right here on Long Island.
"Take time out to volunteer for a community organization helping those here at home or donate to a relief agency helping those recover from a natural or humanitarian disaster. Contribute to a local food drive or to the US Marine Corps Toys for Tots program.
"If everyone does their part, we can make our community and our world a better place for so many others. In this season of giving, we should look out for those truly in need.
"Thank you and I wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday season and a prosperous 2006."