Volunteers help make change

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 28, 2005

Barbara Martin sorted through a stack of clothes Saturday as her 4-year-old son, Travis, watched.

&#8220I don't get any child support and they can always use play clothes and school clothes,” she said.

With two children at home, these donated clothes will make a difference in her life - and that was the point.

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The clothing was given away as part of the Make A Difference Day observance at Coal Grove Church of the Nazarene, one of several Make A Difference Day activities throughout the area.

&#8220I had a lady ask me ‘why does your church do this ever year?'” Brenda Gettys said. &#8220I told her ‘we're all God's children. We do this for people who need help.'”

It was apparent by the line who waited for the giveaway to start that a number of Lawrence Countians need the help. Church members said people looking for clothes started lining up short after 8 a.m., even though the doors didn't open until 9.

As food and clothes were handed out in the fellowship hall, people waited outside Sunday School classrooms to get flu shots and health screenings.

&#8220I have some medical problems and my doctors have said it's mandatory I get a flu shot,” Dixie Rigsby said.

In Ironton, volunteers planted flowers and shrubbery and put finishing touches on new signs welcoming people to the city of Ironton.

&#8220We're committed to the city and committed to seeing change,” Katrina Keith said as she wiped soil off her hands. &#8220And these signs are going to be a beautiful addition to the city.”

The beautification project was a collective effort, with a number of organizations volunteering money or time to make it happen.

Magic Borders of Franklin Furnace donated the brick edging. Tri-State Nursery of Hanging Rock donated the shrubbery and flowers. Bob Hartwig donated the soil.

The Ironton Port Authority obtained the signs with a grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission.

Since the ARC grant required matching monies, a number of local entities stepped up to offer monetary contributions: the Elks and Moose lodges, Knights of Columbus, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Rotary and Lions clubs.

Volunteers from the Friends of Ironton, Greater Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce, the port authority and other groups provided sweat equity Friday and Saturday to install the new additions.

At the VFW Post 8850 on South Third Street, members wrapped up their week-long collection of canned goods for the needy. The food will be donated to the Central Christian Church food pantry.

&#8220This is one of many things we do throughout the year,” VFW 8850 Post Commander Dick Caniff said.

The national Make A Difference Day was devised as a way to encourage volunteerism and community service. More than 2 million people take part in the event each year.