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Jobs for Veterans, Small Business Saturday, and Happy Thanksgiving: Deputies' Download

President Obama signs the VOW to Hire Heroes Act, the White House announces its support for Small Business Saturday, and the President pardons two turkeys for Thanksgiving.

On Monday, President Obama signed the VOW to Hire Heroes Act into law. This is one of the initiatives the President has enacted to ensure that the country fulfills its obligation to our service members and their families, and it is part of the President's plan to put the American people back to work. The President urged every business owner who is hiring to hire a veteran right away, because hiring vets is smart business. As more than 1 million service members return to civilian jobs as the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq wind down, connecting veterans with jobs here at home will help the economy grow.

On Wednesday, Karen Mills, Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, announced the Obama Administration’s support of Small Business Saturday. This Saturday, November 26th, is a day to recognize the crucial role that small businesses play in driving our economy and creating American jobs. 

Also this week, President Obama continued the Thanksgiving tradition of granting a Presidential Pardon to two lucky turkeys - Liberty and Peace. The ceremony was held on the North Portico of the White House and the President was assisted by his daughters, Sasha and Malia. This year's turkeys are both 19 weeks old and weigh 45 pounds. They were raised by a group of students from Willmar High School in Minnesota.

Finally, from all of us at the Office of Public Engagement, we want to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving. We hope that you are able to spend a safe and relaxing holiday with friends and family. Here at OPE, we are all thankful for each day we get to connect with people like you across the country, learn about your stories, and work to make sure that every American has a voice in this Administration.

20111121 POTUS Signing

President Barack Obama signs the Veterans Opportunity to Work to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 (VOW to Hire Heroes Act), that will provide tax credits to help put veterans back to work. First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden attend the ceremony in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building South Court Auditorium, Nov. 21, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama Pardons Liberty

President Barack Obama, with daughters, Malia and Sasha, pardons 'Liberty', the National Thanksgiving Turkey, in a ceremony on the North Portico of the White House, Nov. 23, 2011. At left is National Turkey Federation Chairman Richard Huisinga. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

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Champions of Change

The Champions of Change program encourages people to look into their communities and nominate everyday heroes who are demonstrating commitment to improving their own communities, their country, or their fellow citizens. And we want to hear from you – you can nominate someone who is doing extraordinary things to make a difference in your community as a “Champion of Change.”

Get Involved

Be part of a program where there’s no typical day, and where young people from across the country dedicate their time, talents, and energy to better the White House, the community, and the nation. The application for the Summer 2012 White House Internship Program is now open. The summer program runs from May 29, 2012 through August 10, 2012, and the application deadline is January 22, 2012.

Get involved in the Holiday Mail for Heroes program, run by the American Red Cross and Pitney Bowes. This program, now in its fifth year, encourages all of us to send a holiday card to a service member this season. Making a card is a simple act of kindness that means the world to our soldiers and their families. Learn how to get involved

For more information about ways to get involved now, check out the Office of Public Engagement’s blog, which is updated daily with upcoming engagement opportunities. Take some time to browse our Engage webpage, or email for more information. Also check out for opportunities to personalize your long-term service.

For the latest updates, follow Jon Carson, the Director of the Office of Public Engagement on Twitter: @JonCarson44.

Get Updates

For more information, visit the White House Office of Public Engagement website and blog and sign up for additional opportunities.

We welcome your thoughts and feedback at

Anne Filipic and Stephanie Valencia are the Deputy Directors of the Office of Public Engagement.