Volunteers are our true heroes

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 1, 2003

Tribune Staff

Two weeks have passed since a winter storm changed the way of life for many people in Lawrence County.

Some are still without electricity. Some have yards full of fallen trees or branches. Some have been cold or hungry for days.

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As devastating as this disaster has been, at least one good thing came out of it -- the spirit of giving.

The local response to this catastrophe has been overwhelming. Citizens have spent countless hours helping people in need. Many have given selflessly of themselves so that their neighbors have food, water, warmth and other necessities that have been stripped from them. Some have just given victims a shoulder to cry on or someone to say a prayer with, which has much value as well.

Many volunteers have played a big part in the disaster recovery, and should be commended for a job well done.

Last week, the Western West Virginia Chapter of the

American Red Cross delivered approximately 400 meals and snacks in Lawrence County alone. In the past two weeks, the organization has helped more than a dozen families in the county who suffered major damage to their homes.

Many volunteer firemen have helped out as well. They have helped cut trees, helped clear the roads and even delivered medicine and fuel to people who could not leave their houses.

On Saturday, members of the Decatur Township Volunteer Fire Department handed out bags of groceries to township residents who lost perishable food items because of the power outage. By 3 p.m. Saturday, more than 150 people had picked up a sack of groceries.

The Red Cross workers and volunteer firemen have a lot in common. They are quick to respond, whether to a vehicle pileup, a devastating house fire or a major disaster, and they stick around until everything is back to normal.

Volunteers are our true heroes. Those who donate their time when others are in need are who we should look up to. These people have taken initiative not for personal gain, but because of the kindness in their hearts.