Remember to help others

Some things to think about:

Residents of the Tri-State Area always have been willing to step up and help their friends and neighbors in times of need.

We saw that again this past holiday season, when thousands of people received assistance from many area groups and agencies.

Yes, there’s rarely a shortage of those who are willing to contribute time or money during the Christmas season, and that’s a good thing. But, it’s important to remember that people find themselves in need of help at all times of the year, not just in the few weeks that surround Thanksgiving and Christmas.

A reminder of that came early last week from the United Way of Jefferson County. The goal of this year’s campaign is $400,000, and officials with the organization said they have reached 86 percent of that total. A successful campaign, they added, will have an affect on more than 20,000 lives in our area through the efforts of the 17 member agencies that receive money collected by the United Way.

Should the campaign fall short, those agencies could have their allocations cut, which would take money away from the already-tight budgets nonprofits work with on a daily basis.

Raising that money and making decisions about where it goes is difficult work, and I’ve experienced that firsthand, as a longtime United Way supporter, volunteer, board member and past board president. But those efforts make a real difference in our communities. As Kate Sedgmer, executive director of the United Way of Jefferson County, has reminded us, 98 percent of the money raised here stays here.

Campaigns of each of the United Ways that serve our region are quickly nearing their conclusions. The Weirton United Way, for instance, announced that it was at 65 percent of its goal of $260,000 during its most recent report luncheon in December, and the United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley, which serves Brooke County, is continuing its fundraising efforts.

As officials with each of those groups remind us, there’s still time to make a donation that you can be assured with go to help those who live in our region and make a difference in their lives.

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When you think about those who make a difference in our community, Harry and Tracy Kellermier certainly come to mind. They were the longtime directors and managers of the City Rescue Mission, and have turned the operation of that organization over to Urban Mission Ministries.

If you missed Dave Gossett’s profile of the couple, the work they have done and the plans the Rev. Ashley Steele and the Urban Mission have for the operation, you should look at last Sunday’s edition. And, the Kellermiers say thanks to community in a letter that appears on Page 5B in today’s edition.

As for what lies ahead, Harry said during a Wednesday morning visit to our office that they are looking forward to being full-time grandparents.

We wish them well.

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The wintry weather that descended on our region on Christmas Day sets the perfect stage for Pittsburgh playoff football. It also likely gives the Steelers an edge in today’s game against Jacksonville, which is scheduled to begin around 1 p.m. in Heinz Field.

And, if you’re already tired of the cold and snow, please keep in mind that the Pirates will open spring training on Feb. 12 when pitchers and catchers report. Everyone’s due in camp in Bradenton, Fla., by Feb. 18, with the first spring training game set for 1 p.m. Feb. 23 against the Rays in Port Charlotte, Fla.

(Gallabrese, a resident of Steubenville, is executive editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times.)

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