The St. John's Home for Children in Elm Grove would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to the community for it overwhelming support of our boys this past Christmas.
In an age when our country has witnessed such tragedies as the mass murders in Colorado and Connecticut, there also remains the tragedy of child abuse and neglect, of which many of the boys who come to us are the victims.
However, this past Christmas we were reminded of the historical and remarkable generosity and multiple acts of kindness of this Ohio Valley community as it overwhelmed us with plentiful gifts for the 12 boys currently entrusted to our care. Your generosity helped create Christmas smiles, laughter and memories for our youngsters that they will not soon forget. We want to thank the many and countless individuals who donated to us over Christmas.
We would also like to thank the numerous groups, companies and businesses who contributed to making this Christmas being so special for our boys: Anonymous donors, Bikers for Santa's Kids, Bordas & Bordas, BP Bellaire (Tina Williams, Mgr.), Carmella Szymialias, Centre Town Fitness, City of Wheeling Fire Department, Coach Bob Pyle, Howard Hanna Realty, Lewis Families, Lisa Renzella, Mattucci Roofing, Natrium Federal Credit Union Employees, Northern Regional Correctional Facility, Novella Spa and Friends, Ohio County Sheriff's Department, Our Lady of Peace Catholic Parish, Peterson Hospital, U.S. Attorney's Northern District Office, St. Vincent DePaul Society, Stone Church Volunteer Fire Department, Toni DiCarlo, Wal-Mart, Wells Fargo Insurance Group, West Liberty University Admission Department (Beth Salantino), West Spas, and Wheeling Central Catholic High School Drama Department.
What began as an orphanage 156 years ago, the St. John's Home for Children, today ministers to boys ages 8-14 from throughout West Virginia who are the victims of abuse and neglect or who display behavioral issues. More than 6,000 cases of child abuse and/or neglect are reported each year in West Virginia. Thousands go unreported. St. John's collaborates with several West Virginia agencies, including the W.Va. Department of Health and Human Resources, the W.Va. Child Care Association, and Ohio County Schools, to provide care to our most vulnerable population - our children. We recognize that these are difficult times for everyone financially.
We are so grateful and blessed for all of the community support we have received. Once again, on behalf of the Board of Directors, staff, families, and boys that we serve, thank you for your kindness and generosity. For more information please visit us on the web at www.stjohnshomeforchildren.org.
The kindness shown to us by all of you reminds us of what a great place the Ohio Valley is in which to live, work and to serve others. To that end we offer in thanksgiving this short prayer for all of you: "May the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge, reward you fully for what you have done" (Ruth 2:12)