We want to simply say thank you to the people of Marion County.
For the fifth year in a row, the Christmas Toy Shop, the Black Friday event that serves low-income families, has been a success. Families who before would have stressed about how they would be able to provide toys for their children come Christmas morning have been given the opportunity to “shop” for gently used and new toys, but only through the giving spirit of the people of Marion County.
We saw it first hand. A young girl came into our offices and presented a check. Come to find out, that little one had asked friends and family to donate to the cause and collected as much as she could before bringing the donation to the office.
A woman stopped by the office the day before Thanksgiving, the last day we would be collecting for the drive. She wanted to know exactly how far away we were from the goal of $17,500 to purchase new toys for the drive. At that moment, though we knew other checks were expected and explained that, we were a little more than $1,490 away from goal. The woman wrote a personal check for $1,491.
Someone donated a rather large stuffed monkey. When the family who chose the monkey Friday morning was loading it into the car, there was an envelope attached beneath it with $50 enclosed.
These were just a few of the little miracles and blessings that happened during the drive this year. It doesn’t count the hundreds and hundreds of volunteer man hours that went into sorting donated toys, purchasing new ones and helping families “shop” on Friday. It doesn’t count each and every person who gave what they could to help meet the fundraising goal.
And the blessings will continue through Christmas Day. We may never know the impact that a donated toy or a a monetary contribution will mean to a young child on Christmas morning. But lives were touched through this drive. Families in need, families in crisis were offered a helping hand to give a little hope to children who shouldn’t have to feel the stress of financial pressures at such a young age.
You wouldn’t believe what a new doll or a remote-controlled car or a bike can do for a child dealing with death, divorce, abandonment or financial crisis. It can make them believe in the magic of the season again.
And none of it would have been possible without the kind-hearted people of Marion County, who never cease to open their hearts for the less fortunate. In fact, the Christmas Toy Shop drive was so successful, another will be held Tuesday evening.
Again, we offer a simple thank you to the people of Marion County on behalf of the hundreds of children who will benefit this year. In this season of giving, know that you have given the extraordinary gifts of laughter, happiness and hope to so many children.
We want to simply say thank you to the people of Marion County.
COLUMN: Freedom of Information — if you can pay
Several years ago, I made a Freedom of Information request to a local government agency. Within the five business days, as required by law, a packet of information was delivered to the office. I expected a bill, as most government offices have a charge that ranges from 25 cents to $1.25 per page for copies of the documents we request.
The reassuring spirit of Easter: One of new hope and beginnings
During the sub-zero and snow-filled months of winter, we maintained a spirit of hope that spring was on the way. It has now become a reality as all nature stretches and yawns and awakens once more to a new beginning. The fragrance of spring awakens our waiting nostrils, the budding beauty of new life brightens our eyes, and the reassuring idea of renewal stimulates our minds.
Unsung heroes handling calls in emergencies are appreciated
Thankfully, we live in a community where help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, just by dialing three numbers — 9-1-1.
During this week, which is recognized as National Public Safety Tele-Communicator’s Week nationwide, we need to remember that on the other end of that line are the men and women here in this county who are always there in case of accident, crimes, medical emergencies and any other catastrophic event.
Message to ‘buckle up and park the phone’ is saving lives
A figure that we haven’t seen that much in recent years is the highway death toll for a given period.
Is the death toll up, down or just about the same as it was?
The West Virginia Southern Regional Highway Safety Program has announced there were 325 highway fatalities in 2013, the second-lowest number on record.
State native Burwell can ‘deliver results’ as Health and Human Services secretary
Sylvia Mathews Burwell might not be a name with which most people are immediately familiar.
For the past year, she has run the budget office under President Barack Obama.
Prior to that, she served as president of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Development Program and later the Wal-Mart Foundation.
Marion scores well in recent health report but could do better
When it comes to area-wide studies, especially on health, there’s usually good news and bad news.
So was the recent report on the health of America’s counties released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently. The nationwide county study evaluated health outcomes and health factors, and ranked counties accordingly.
COLUMN: ‘Instant’ news not always reliable
That little word has a pretty big meaning. With origins that date back to the 15th century, it means urgent, current, immediate.
But think about how that word has developed over the past few decades.
Instant pudding. Instead of slaving over a hot stove for a few minutes, you can now pour cold milk and with a bit of stirring, instant pudding!
Decision to be an organ donor can save lives
Chelsea Clair watched as her father died waiting for a bone marrow transplant.
So when she met Kyle Froelich at a car show in 2009 and heard about his struggles to find a kidney that would match his unique needs, she never hesitated to offer hers to the man she just met.
Volunteers continue to have priceless impact on community
Chances are, you know someone who volunteers. Perhaps you’re a volunteer yourself.
Marion County is full of volunteers.
They read to our youth.
They assist nonprofit agencies.
They serve on boards and committees.
And in 2013, they spent a day picking up nearly 10 tons of garbage that had been tossed out on public property around Marion County.
Proposed school calendar lives up to letter and spirit of law
West Virginia state law requires that students be in a classroom for 180 days.
- More Opinion Headlines
- COLUMN: Freedom of Information — if you can pay