It’s hard to keep up with all the good deeds being done
December 20, 2007
I know we missed some.
That’s what I’m thinking, and dreading, right now on Thursday afternoon, even as our photographers are running around town taking pictures of charity shopping trips and Christmas donations. There are just so many good things happening out there, so many generous people and organizations, that I fear they won’t all get the credit they deserve.
In fact, here’s one within arm’s reach, a sheet of paper that says on Tuesday the Carson City Fire Association was at Wal-Mart buying $4,000 worth of toys for the Salvation Army’s Toys for Joy. Our photographer had other assignments at that time, so we weren’t able to make it there to see that pure and specific kind of joy visible in the eyes of those who are selflessly doing good deeds (or to see just how many carts $4,000 worth of toys fills up).
Who will those toys help? Hundreds of people screened by the Salvation Army to ensure they really do have a need. And believe Salvation Army Capt. Erica Helton when she says they really do. A typical family they help has two or three children and at least one of the parents has either been laid off or has medical problems. Paying the rent is a challenge; buying Christmas presents is sometimes just too much.
That’s why, during Thursday’s toy give-away, emotion was prevalent. One mother who was able to get a bike for her 4-year-old daughter grabbed hold of Helton and cried.
When I asked Helton to name some of the other donors, she paused at the magnitude of that request. There were the donations and help from employees of Greater Nevada Credit Union and the free refrigeration services given by The Sausage Factory for holiday food donations. There were businesses and agencies that took up donations and, well, … “the list is long,” Helton said.
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Somehow I envisioned Santa Claus looking at his list of all who’ve been good in Carson City. And smiling.
It not only made me feel good about this city, but also less guilty about the certainty of missing out on giving credit in the newspaper to all who are deserving. It’s just not possible.
The firefighters deserve a major thank you, and so does everyone else who’s given to help others who are less fortunate, even if it’s just putting a few dollars in a kettle.
It occurred to me reading the news this week that Carson City’s glass-half-empty club got some fodder they could use in their argument that this city is going to the dogs. We reported earlier this week about a much needed economic bright spot in the city – the landfill.
Well, I’m not sure what that says about our fair city when you’ve got to look to the dump for positive financial news, but it’s certainly not something you’d want to put on a tourism brochure. And, on that brochure, you’d probably want to ignore another major contributor to the local economy – our four prisons.
Then again, maybe there’s a way to turn this landfill thing into a glass-full proposition. I’m thinking of a John Candy movie where, on vacation, his character drove to the dump to watch the bears eat garbage in the landfill. Lord knows we’ve got the bears to pull this thing off and bring in the tourists. Then again, I seem to remember the bears trying to break into his car after he lured them closer with a Zagnut bar.
No, on second thought, maybe we ought to stick with trains and downtown development.
And finally a Christmas update on Heidi Manfroi, whom I’ve mentioned in a few previous columns. She’s the Carson City woman who spent last winter in a gutted trailer with no heat (other than a space heater), bath or even water heater. Though wheelchair-bound, she is a proud and self-admitted stubborn woman who refused to be moved out of her modest home to a care facility.
Janice Ayres, executive director of RSVP, vowed to help Heidi, and has been trying to raise funds to fix up the trailer ever since. The effort got a real boost when Rich de Braga volunteered to lend his considerable carpentry, plumbing and electrical skills to the effort.
And progress has been made. She has a water heater, for example, so she won’t have to heat up water in the microwave when she wants to wash.
There’s no heat yet, however … the donations didn’t stretch far enough to buy a furnace. So for now, Heidi still huddles over a space heater to drive away the winter chill.
Janice is hopeful other donations will come in for the cause, especially since at this time of the year people can earn a nice tax write off with a donation.
If you’re interested in helping financially, an account has been set up at the First National Bank of Nevada, 1101 N. Carson St., in Carson City, 89701. The account number is 16504831.
You also can reach Janice Ayres at the RSVP offices by calling 687-4680.
• Barry Ginter is editor of the Appeal. You can reach him at 881-1221, or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
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