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  • “Keep the faith”

    By Zara on

    "I had this impulse to hug him, so I did. And I cried. I think I even got tears on the Vice President's suit jacket! ... I am hugging the man who will help me and help our President move forward."


    Standing at the back of a packed high school gym as Vice President Biden finished speaking in Ft. Myers, Florida, on Saturday was 15-year-old Kobe Groce. He cradled a "Forward" sign, hoping to get the Vice President to sign it for his brother, Kaelin. After unsuccessfully trying to make it to the front of the event, a staff member asked if he could help. Kobe told his story, and the staffer left for a moment and came back, saying simply: "The Vice President would like to meet you."

    "I turned around and looked back at my mother as I was walking with the staffer in disbelief—I didn't know how to react. I was about to meet the man that helped make my life so much better.

    "My mother, Jessica, raised us as a single mother. She's a teacher and has worked so hard to support her four children. I wanted the Vice President to know that yes, we are definitely better off than we were four years ago. My family has received the tax cuts for the middle class that the President and Vice President passed, and it has helped us tremendously.

    "The President and Vice President have gone above and beyond for people like me and my family, and they stand for things like keeping school affordable. My older brother uses Pell Grants and college loans to be able to afford school, and I'm thankful for that. I want to be able to go to Florida State University one day, and now I know I don't have to worry about being able to afford it. Life would not be the way it is today if they hadn't taken office four years ago.

    "The Vice President approached me and I was introduced to him as a ‘special guest.’ I was overwhelmed with different emotions. I had this impulse to hug him, so I did. And I cried. I think I even got tears on the Vice President's suit jacket! I met someone who has done so much for my family without even knowing us, and that was an incredible, overwhelming feeling. I felt like he really heard me, like he knew who I was. I am hugging the man who will help me and help our President move forward."

    Kobe was very grateful for the chance to meet the Vice President, but he didn't want to leave without something for his brother.

    "I explained to the Vice President that the reason I was there was because my older brother inspired me to do so. He said, 'Do you have his phone number?' Then he called him and said, 'Kaelin, this is Vice President Biden' and they chatted for about five minutes! He also signed my placard, and the last line of his note really has stuck with me. He wrote: 'It was a pleasure meeting you, keep the faith.'

    "I'm definitely going to keep the faith, and the thing I'm most looking forward to is watching President Obama and Vice President Biden being sworn in for a second term on January 20th, 2013."

    Today, Kobe is signing up to spend the last 34 days of this campaign working as hard to re-elect President Obama and Vice President Biden as they are working for him. Follow Kobe's lead and sign up to volunteer now.


The Obama Administration's Impact on Faith-Based Communities

The Faith Platform: Leading with Values

President Obama is a committed Christian who knows that faith and values are more than a personal anchor -- they are also a powerful force for the common good. President Obama’s belief that we are all connected—that, as Corinthians says, “if one part suffers...”—has anchored him as he has worked tirelessly to lead with values: basic economic security for everyone who is willing and able to work, including jobs you can raise a family and save for retirement on, affordable health care that’s there for you when you need it most and opportunity through education.

Download the full Faith Platform today.

Economic Security for Families

Economic Recovery—President Obama knows that when the recession hurt our economy, it hurt families. His top priority has always been putting more Americans back to work and restoring economic security for the middle class.

  • We’ve gone from losing 750,000 jobs a month before the President took office to creating them over 28 straight months of private sector job growth.
  • Rescued the auto industry, saving more than a million jobs, and countless families from the strain they would have endured without his decisive action.

Tax Fairness—President Obama believes our tax system should reflect our values, reward hard work and responsibility, and ask everyone to do their fair share. President Obama supports tax reform that reflects the common sense idea that no one making over $1 million should pay a smaller share of their income in taxes than middle class families pay.

  • Over President Obama’s first term in office, the typical family has seen their taxes cut by $3,600.

Health Reform—President Obama fought for health insurance reform so no family will ever have to worry that their child will be denied coverage because of a preexisting condition. Obamacare means no family will ever have to worry about how to make ends meet once a loved one hits the lifetime cap on their coverage for a serious disease like cancer, and that no one will have to worry about going bankrupt because he or she got sick.

My Brother and Sister’s Keeper

DREAM Act—President Obama believes that our nation’s immigration policies should be sensible, compassionate and just. The Obama Administration announced a policy to lift the shadow of deportation from young people who came to the United States as children, through no fault of their own, and grew up as Americans. The President announced that young people who meet certain criteria, who are contributing to our country by serving in the military or pursuing an education, can request temporary relief from deportation and apply for temporary authorization to work in this country. Only Congress can provide a permanent fix for these young people, which is why President Obama will continue to advocate for the DREAM Act.

Poverty—President Obama believes we have a responsibility to look out for those less fortunate than ourselves. From housing, Head Start and unemployment insurance, to fighting hunger at home and abroad, the President has stood strong for a budget that maintains the basic American values of opportunity and compassion.

Faith, Family and the Common Good

Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships

  • The Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships reflects the President’s belief that faith and values are a powerful force for good in the world, and that the government should rely on and partner on these groups to serve the common good.

Strengthening and Supporting Families

  • Increased funding for organizations promote fatherhood and health marriages. Signed the Pregnancy Assistant Fund into law—a $250 million program which helps local organizations support pregnant women who are choosing to carry their pregnancies to term with the services they need.
  • Extended and increased the value of the Adoption Tax Credit and proposes making it permanent.

Faith in Public Life—President Obama started the new tradition of an Easter Prayer Breakfast. He has also hosted events marking the holidays of diverse faiths, including Diwali, the Passover Seder, and continuing the tradition of celebrating Ramadan at The White House.