Editorials, Opinion

Community matters

In the midst of all the hard news we encounter on a daily basis, it can be easy to lose track of some of the softer stories — the fun features, local tidbits and community matters. So today we’re going to highlight a couple that you may have missed.

Pantry Plus More Back to School Bash today

Beginning today at 10 a.m. at the Mon County Center (270 Mylan Park Lane), Pantry Plus More will host its annual Back to School Bash for students in pre-K through 12th grade. Kids will have the opportunity to peruse backpacks, books, school supplies, hygiene products, socks, underwear and other back-to-school gear and select what they’d like.

The event will go until 2 p.m. or until supplies run out. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged, which can you can do by visiting https://www.pantryplusmore.org/back-to-school-bash-2/ and clicking the link for registration.

We’d like to thank Pantry Plus More and the volunteers who work on gathering supplies year-round and the local businesses and organizations, as well as individuals, who donated materials, money and time. If you would like to make a donation, visit https://www.pantryplusmore.org/donate/.

United Way announces new campaign chair

Monica Nassif Haddad will chair the next fundraising campaign by United Way of Monongalia and Preston Counties, which kicks off later this month.

Haddad is a longtime United Way volunteer with deep familial roots in the Mountain State. While Haddad herself was new to West Virginia when she came here in the 1980s to attend WVU, her paternal great-grandparents had settled in Rowlesburg after immigrating from Lebanon. Members of her father’s extended family still call Preston County home.

That’s one thing we love most about the United Way — its local chapters are truly run by locals and the money donated stays in the community.

There’s not enough space here to list all the initiatives and partners the United Way — and your donations — fund, but we can give you a sampling. Among the initiatives: Holiday Toy and Food Distribution, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, Helpful Harvest Food Program and the Warm Hands, Warm Hearts outwear drive. Among the funded partners: American Red Cross, Mountaineer Area Boy Scouts, Bartlett Housing Solutions, Food for Preston, Lauren’s Wish, Meals on Wheels, Mountain Area Robotics and Preston County Workshop.

If you’d like to donate, you can visit https://www.unitedwaympc.org/give or keep an eye out for the launch of this year’s fundraising campaign.

Events like the Back to School Bash and the yearly United Way campaign remind us how lucky we are to live in a community where people step up to take care of one another.

It’s not always easy to ask for help — sometimes, it’s a matter of pride; sometimes, a matter of not feeling deserving. But if there’s ever something someone in Monongalia or Preston counties needs, there are one or more organizations out there ready to help. All you have to do is ask.