Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Columns

November 30, 2013

Community is the holiday heart for Little Jimmie, Holiday Homes Tour

— — Being thankful is easy for many of us in Four Seasons Country but unfortunately there are still far too many local residents who do not have jobs or who are working for those “nickel and dime” wages that will barely cover basic expenses. Somewhat like the teenager who might be able to afford a car but then does not have enough money to run it, many citizens can pay the rent but then are so strapped they might not be able to afford both groceries and electricity. It is truly heartbreaking.

We could say heaven help them and one way that it does is through the continued generosity of those like you who continue to support the Community Christmas Tree program, a.k.a. the “Little Jimmie” program which will be held this year out at the city auditorium on Stadium Drive on the Saturday before Christmas for area children who otherwise would have a (very) bare Yuletide.

As someone who has been privileged in more ways than one to be able to be on the side of the aisle where gifts are handed out, I can tell you there is no more heartwarming scene than a happy child and a relieved parent when the presents are securely in hand. At that moment all the donations, the hard work of the shoppers who take time to buy those presents and the dedication of the transportation team which brings them to the auditorium flashes bright.

The other treats, candy, gloves, and similar items which have been painstakingly packed into each bag by more hard-working volunteers who have spent hours walking around on concrete to make certain all is well sparkle as well.

The city employees, the Daily Telegraph workers, local high school who come out to help carry, push, pull, and distribute are all unsung heroes. They do not seek to get their names in the paper or their faces on television — they are just on hand to do something nice for others.

All of them are solid gold — as in the Golden Rule. You who cannot always be on hand but make everything else possible with your support are shoulder to shoulder with everyone on the team.

Thanks in advance for helping to make the 2013 drive to be a success!

lll

My old hometown of Tazewell is one of the many beautiful places in our grand area and one local church is doing its best to showcase some of the most eye-catching indoor scenery. Main Street United Methodist Church is celebrating its centennial (1913-2013) with a year-long series of community events including the Holiday Home Tour coming up on Saturday December 7, from 1  to 5 p.m.

Cecilia Hymes, a member of the “Hundred Year Committee” sends along word that there will be nine stops on the tour and the cost is just $10 per person. That will include the Main Street church, the Tazewell Christian Church, Stras Memorial Episcopal Church, and the Chapman Hall facility behind the Methodist Church.

A series of beautiful homes all decorated within and without for Christmas includes those of Chris and Melinda Brown, Rich and Ami Patterson, Brad and Elaine Pyott, Bob and Bonnie White, and Mike and Cecilia Hymes’ residences. Those are all good people, believe me, and I can’t wait to see just how they have “fancied up” for the holidays.

Tickets can be purchased at Between Friends Gift Shop, at Brown’s Chiropractic Creating Wellness Center, and at Van’s Gift Shop. On the day of the tour itself, tickets will be sold at Chapman Hall behind the church on Main Street.

Clinch Valley Printing, one of the community’s finest neighbors, has designed and printed a map of the tour for each ticket holder which details exactly where every place is located. That will make the tour so much easier and more fun for everyone. What a great idea.

It will be a fine time to visit with lots of old friends and see some wonderful sights in the county seat. The Main Street folks have been so busy this year celebrating their 100th year as a spiritual cornerstone of the community and this is the capstone event of that amazing effort.

Come on by and enjoy a historic day that will be helpful to the church’s community outreach efforts and will truly give a jump-start to the “Happy Holidays” part of Merry Christmas as we consider the true Reason for the Season.

Larry Hypes, a teacher at Tazewell High School, is a Daily Telegraph columnist.

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