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The Chamber Minute 02/17/23

The Chamber Minute 02/17/23

In these challenging times, as we focus on our friends and neighbors, I have had an experience, that I’d like to share with you. A local church started a free clothing give away always prior to school starting. It had become an annual tradition with them for many years until COVID hit in 2020. The clothes must be good, as some used to camp out the night before to be first in line. The real story of what went on was the people. So let me share a few of those with you from a couple years back.

A little girl, after looking at the shoes available, exclaimed, “Oh mama, they don’t have any holes”. A man thanked the women that were working in the program saying, “did you do this before?” “yes, we had a similar program last year”. “I guess I didn’t notice last year because I had my mill job and everything was all right. This year I’m being retrained at SWOCC to be a welder. So far I haven’t lost my house or car. I got the kids coats for the winter, but I burnt holes in mine at class and haven’t had the money to replace it”. He pulled a coat from his sack and put it on. “Doesn’t this fit good? Thank you.” One lady came here from Colorado with only the clothes on her back. She found two suits and said, “what a wonderful thing this is. Now I can go to my job interview looking nice. Thank you.” Lastly, a little girl about 10 years old came. She asked three times if the clothes and shoes were free. “Yes” was the reply. “Not even a nickel or a dime?” “No”. Then she picked out two pair of high heel shoes, a long blue dress and a fur trimmed blouse. She asked again, “are these free?” Yes, you can have anything you can use. “Oh no, these aren’t for me. I have a friend who lives next door. She has cerebral palsy and can’t leave her room much and she loves to play dress up”. She said her friend would be so glad. And the stories went on and on. What this points out is we don’t have to look to a third world country to find need. People are hungry, people are in need of clothes and in need of friends right here, right now.

As we have heard throughout the past couple years of the pandemic, we are all in this together. So take some time to see those needs and do something about them. Continue that story of caring repeated again and again in 2020 and 2021. At the Chamber, we believe a caring community is what we should always be.

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