The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

November 25, 2013

A Grateful Community

Thank you! It is always a special moment when we see our community rise to the challenge and offer so much compassion to others in need.

This fall I have been writing about the poverty that our county residents are facing right here in our neighborhoods. The articles have included information about workshops, help line phone numbers and simple encouragement for each person to reach out and make a difference.

It is wonderful to see the power of suggestion in action.

During the past few weeks, it has been so good to see so many new faces helping those in need.

From individuals who are collecting warm clothing and food, to those who are adopting families and providing them with gifts for the holidays.

Today, people are reaching out to help others so that everyone can have warm clothing, food and shelter during the cold months ahead.

This time of year, the food pantries are receiving more items so that the shelves can stay stocked throughout the winter months. This is so important today due to the increase in families who need the help to bridge the gap between their paychecks or food stamps.

Helping our food pantries makes a difference in the health and nutrition of our community’s children every day.

Thank you for taking a bag of groceries to your local food pantry!

By doing some cleaning and organizing, people are donating gently used coats, blankets, and other warm clothing to our clothing banks, Goodwill, and Salvation Army centers.

As the bitter wind comes out of the north, these items will keep children warm on their way to school and cozy at night.

Thank you for donating your gently used items to keep others warm and dry.

During the next few weeks, there are many free meals being offered by organizations throughout Ashtabula County. Dedicated volunteers are giving up their own family time on Thanksgiving and other weekends to prepare delicious turkey and ham dinners for our community members.

Some of these celebrations even offer holiday gifts for children along with a fun and nutritious meal.

Thank you to all of the volunteers and entities that provide these special meals.

There are also agencies and groups that are busy this time of year working to provide assistance for heating and winterization of local homes. When it is difficult to make ends meet and there is a major repair on a home that needs done to keep it safe and sound for the winter, there are programs and volunteers who can help fix those problems.

From the federal HEAP program to the LEAF volunteers, thank you for your ongoing efforts to improve the living conditions of our citizens.

Thank you to the individuals throughout our county who have stepped up and established collection sites for clothing, food, and donations that can be delivered to those in need. Your efforts make a difference in the lives of others and by giving back to your community, you will benefit too.

Giving to others is proven to be a stress reliever and increases your own sense of well-being.

To everyone, may this holiday season be a time of joy and peace for Ashtabula County as we work together to make our community a stronger and healthier place to live.

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