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Reason To Celebrate

Many of us celebrated on Dec. 31. But it was not quite the typical New Year’s Eve celebration for many. Rather welcoming 2020 with great joy, many chose to celebrate the end of 2019.

And with great reason. Some folks would rather forget the things that have torn this country apart last year. For a great portion of the population, common sense was lost on Washington last year.

In spite of everything, I refuse to begin this year without offering our readers a bit of sunshine. Let me tell you what you did recently that embodies the spirit and strength of this Ohio Valley.

The House of the Carpenter on Wheeling Island has been taking care of people in need for 50 years. As its needs grew, so did the facility. And currently it’s undergoing an even greater expansion for the youth of the community.

This past Christmas, as is every year, the House gets requests from families seeking help with children’s wish lists. The House vets the families thoroughly so that duplication from other charities is not an issue. Families will seek specific gifts. The House does its best to find sponsors and donors.

However less than a week before Christmas, a sponsorship fell through, leaving 20 children without gifts. Michelle Lucarelli, associate director at the House of the Carpenter, said she was “sick” with worry over this. She turned to social media for help and a Christmas miracle of sorts happened.

“I did not expect the response that we received. People sent money, they contacted us to sponsor children, we even had folks who had already sponsored a child make contact to see what they could do. People brought gifts and one wonderful older couple brought in totes with brand new clothing to be supplied to any child that needed them. We were overwhelmed by the support for the children.”

Lucarelli said growing up here, she has always known the generosity of the people. However, this outpouring of help was beyond words. “I went from being discouraged to amazed within just a few hours because the people from my life-long home, far exceeded any hope that I had. We were able to serve 400 children this year and give them a complete Christmas because of YOU, Ohio Valley.”

She thanks you and so do I.

Heather Ziegler can be reached at hziegler@theintelligencer.net.

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