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Continuing its mission: Ironton Welfare Club donates children’s books

Continuing its mission of helping area kids, on Thursday morning the Ironton Welfare Club donated 30 books to the children’s library at the Briggs Lawrence County Public Library in Ironton.

It was done in honor of one of its members and the club was the group that helped create the children’s section of the library many decades ago.

The books were given in honor of Cindy Brown, who passed away last year.

“We wanted to do something to honor her and do it in her memory,” said Jackie Null, the president of the Ironton Welfare Club. “We felt this would be a really good thing, because she always loved children and worked very hard in the club for children.”

The members gathered at the library on Thursday morning to see the books. They donated the money to the library and the children’s librarian picked out the books.

Brown’s son, Andy, and her grandson, Felix, were there for the donation.

“I think it is tremendous,” said Andy Brown. “They’ve been around forever and done so many great things for the community. She was so involved, I know she would have loved this.”

Two-year old Felix Brown was happily looking through the books, especially pleased when he found a picture of a snowman or a picture of heavy construction machinery.

“My grandmother, Mary Labor, asked us to come down and be a part of the event,” Andy Brown said.

Children’s librarian Jan Gullett said they were happy to get the books.

“We are always surprised and happy to receive donations,” she said. “It gives us a chance to add to our collection and gives us more opportunities to provide to the community.”

She said this donation was fun because she got to pick out the books.

“We think about the books we want to get for the children that they are going to like to read and that they will like to check out,” Gullett said.

She said she selected the books after reading a lot of book reviews on websites and blogs as well as the publisher’s descriptions.

“I pick out the items that our kids will enjoy,” she said. “That’s what it all comes down to.”

The books have already been wrapped in protective plastic covers and are ready to be checked out.

The ones that haven’t already been reserved will be put on display in the children’s section.

The Ironton Welfare Club got its start 101 years ago and their original mission was to raise funds to make sure the children of Ironton got milk. While doing that, the club also did numerous betterment programs that included starting a story hour at the courthouse, building the first public park in Ironton, and setting up the city’s first kindergarten.

The club stopped distributing milk in 1974, when the U.S. government starting supplying it to all children, but the club continued and still helps needy children.

The club established the Eddy Test scholarship in 1960 and that continues. The club also donates to Backpack Buddies to make sure kids can eat on the weekends, Tools 4 Schools, to the City Mission and Lawrence County Domestic Violence Shelter as well as giving to Christmas and Thanksgiving projects.