www.wvgazette.com Gazette Charities http://www.wvgazette.com Gazette archive feed en-us Copyright 2014, Charleston Newspapers, Charleston, WV Newspapers Christmas Fund nears $44,500; still time to give http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141219/GZ01/141219221 GZ01 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141219/GZ01/141219221 Fri, 19 Dec 2014 00:01:00 -0500 Christmas and New Year's Day are closing in fast. Now is the time, if you would like to help those in need in our community.

Many Gazette readers have already helped out, by donating to the Gazette Charities Christmas Fund.

This week, the fund raised $13,000, bringing the total for the season to nearly $44,500.

Please help the fund continue pushing toward its goal. To give, look for the donation coupon in today's paper or go wvgazette.com and click on the Christmas Fund logo to give online.

Here is a list of this week's donors:

Judith McJunkin, in memory of Mary Kathryn Hamrick Graham, $100

Ann Govea, $50

Kristin Halkias, in honor of Daniel and Pleshette Snavely and family, $25

Kristin Halkias, in honor of George and Tracy Watson and family, $25

Eloise Boggs, $100

Naresh and Indira Shah, $25

Jason Daugherty, in memory of Charity Alice Short, $25

Anonymous, in honor of our five grandchildren, $75

Robert and Joan Power, $100

James and Kathryn Stone, $100

Mrs. Marion H. Baer, $100

Anonymous, in memory of Nell Mollohan, $20

Anonymous, in memory of Margaret and Marguerite, $100

Sue Pryce, in memory of Jim Pryce, $100

Anonymous, in memory of Byron and Vera, $500

Anonymous, in honor of Barbara, Carolyn, Doris, Hannah, Marilyn, Ruth A. and Ruth H., $21

Jerry and June Hicks, in honor of Rowan Hicks and Barbara Hicks-Neddo, $100

Jerry and June Hicks, in memory of Judy King and Barbara Godby, $100

Jack and Rebecca Kutil, in honor of Jesus Christ, our savior, $100

Anonymous, in memory of Ashley Campbell, $100

Gabriele Wohl, $50

Anonymous, in memory of Pauline James and Grace Lester, $100

Karen Dixon, in memory of Paul L. Dixon, $50

F.C. Frostick, $100

Central Glass Co. of Charleston, Inc., in memory of Ron, Carolyn and Scott, $200

Anonymous, in memory of Glenn, Marcella, Bruce and Ron Jarrell, $25

Terry L. Johnson, in memory of Ruth and Bob Johnson, $50

Anonymous, in memory of Ed, Freda and Emery Priestly, $250

Anonymous, in memory of Clyde, Pearl and Randy Engle, $250

Anonymous, in memory of my husband, $400

Samuel King II, in memory of Dr. and Mrs. Samuel King, $100

Gary Nease, in memory of Betty Jo Nease, $25

Keith and Edith Phillips, in memory of Danny Phillips, $50

Stanley Kenney, in memory of Margaret Kenney, $100

Carl and Becky McLaughlin, in honor and memory of our parents, $100

Bea McElhinney, in memory of L. McElhinney, $25

Rob Byers and Tara Tuckwiller, $100

The Bohnert Family, in memory of James V. Bohnert, Sr., $100

Ruth R. Peyton, in memory of Kathe Peyton, $100

Anonymous, in memory of Richard and Ed, $100

Jeffrey and Dianna Branham, in honor of the employees of Pita Pit of Charleston, $50

Brett Barthelmess, in honor of Bill Miller and Art and Shirley Barthelmess, $200

Kristin Halkias, in memory of Diana Halkias, $50

Connie and Ed Hillenbrand, in memory of Dr. Jim Lane, $50

Dingess-Rum Properties, Inc., $250

Rod and Susan Tunnell, in memory of Charles and Rhoda Turnblacer, $50

Sam and Nancy Frame, in memory of our son Clinton Frame, $100

Margaret Workman, in memory of Tim Workman, $100

Dianna Robinson, in memory of James Johnson, $100

Bill and Margie Spence, in honor of Wesley, Cody and Hunter, $50

Julia W. Crichton, $25

Anonymous, in memory of Rosemary Marshall, $50

Anonymous, in memory of loved ones, $25

Our Gang Haircare, $100

Jewell Crews, in memory of Cecil Crews, $50

Diana K. Green, in honor of Ed and Billie Maguire, $50

West Virginia Air National Guard, in memory of Fallen Service Members, $220

Lucile Dudley, in memory of Vernon "Buck" Dudley, $100

Bob and Mary Alice Elkins, in memory of Rev. Dr. Martha Giltinan, $100

Manna Meals, in memory of Sam Tallarico, $25

Karen Jenkins, in memory of Alma and Harold Bronaugh, $100

Anonymous, in memory of Harry and Faye Carelli, $100

Pat Woodyard, in honor of Chris and Leah Akers, $50

Ms. Carol Russell, $50

Dauree Coleman, in memory of James R. Coleman, Sr., James R. Coleman, Jr. and Kevin Rory Coleman, $60

Luther Daniel, in memory of Eloise E. Daniel, $100

Jerry and Linda Good, in memory of Madeline and Dennis Deitz, $25

Anonymous, in memory of David Matthew Hassen, $100

Richard and Judy Hanlen, in memory of Virginia Judy Hanlen, $50

Dina Luby, in memory of Bernard Luby, $50

Mr. Edgar C. Anderson, $25

Anonymous, in memory of aunt Evelyn, Dave Mason and Nellie Fair, $150

Karen Light, in honor of Jimmy, G and S, and everyone who donated to recycle, $600

Ramona Stover, in memory of Donald and Virginia Stover and Debby Bailey, $25

Shirley Shank, in memory of Clifford R. Shank, $50

John and Jane Ann Reed, in honor of our grandchildren Reed and Lila Wilder, $50

James Dotson, in memory of Kermit and Georgia Dotson, $100

Anonymous, in honor of the Grandmother's Fund, $100

Nathan Kirk, $100

Anonymous, in honor of Dr. Rahul Gupta, $10

Tiano O'Dell, PLLC, $1,000

Anonymous, in honor of Jesus, $30

Anonymous, in memory of Mr. and Mrs. James Goshorn, $50

Anonymous, in memory of Rosemary Marshall, $25

Anonymous, in memory of A&S Corey, $300

Jewell G. Haddad, in memory of my husband Philip and my daughter Lesley Meadows, $35

Diane and Paul Wallace, $200

Anonymous (combined), $3,615

Weekly total: $13,036

Grand total: $44,478.58

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Bad chain of events leaves single mom of four wondering http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141218/GZ01/141219326 GZ01 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141218/GZ01/141219326 Thu, 18 Dec 2014 00:01:00 -0500 Since age 13, she bounced around from family member to family member because of her unstable home life.

She's now a young single mother -- the mother of four, actually.

Her one stable role model -- her grandmother -- died recently, just another link in a very bad chain of events: She lost her job; she had a serious car accident while pregnant that landed her in intensive care for two weeks; she broke her leg when she slipped on the steps outside her home.

With her grandmother gone, and no other family on which to depend, she descended into bouts of depression. Fortunately, she turned to the Salvation Army for help.

Now, with their help, she's dreaming about building a better life, one where her children can have Christmas presents and she can have her own washer and dryer.

Vandy Justice at the Salvation Army said she told her: "I know God has a beautiful plan for all of us, but at times I question why he would bless me with these sweet souls, knowing they would have no family to love them."

Justice said that her goal "is to show her there is love out there, and her strength to reach out and to prevail is the reason God gave her those four sweet souls."

To help the Salvation Army help people like this young mother and her children, please donate to the Gazette Charities Christmas Fund, which helps support the Salvation Army and other local help agencies in their daily mission.

To give, look for the donation coupon in today's paper. To donate online, go to wvgazette.com and click on the Christmas Fund logo. All donations to Gazette Charities are tax deductible.

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With ailing heart, dad struggles to provide http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141217/GZ01/141219412 GZ01 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141217/GZ01/141219412 Wed, 17 Dec 2014 00:01:00 -0500 By Caitlin Cook CHARLESTON, W.Va. - This single father always worked hard to provide for his daughter. He'd never missed a day of work.

Now he is sidelined with a disability. In August, doctors discovered his heart was in serious trouble and pumping at only 20 to 30 percent of capacity. He spent seven days in the hospital. He now needs medication to control his heart rate, blood pressure and fluids. He must wear a LifeVest, which is a personal defibrillator for patients at risk of sudden cardiac arrest.

Since being released from the hospital he has been fighting for an income.

He has run through his savings and retirement funds in order to pay bills and makes ends meet for his daughter and himself.

"I have nothing," he said.

This single father has turned to the Salvation Army - one of the local help agencies supported by the Gazette Charities Christmas Fund - to be able to provide for his daughter this Christmas and in the long term.

Last week, Salvation Army officials in Charleston said their annual Red Kettle Drive was well below fundraising goals.

To help this family and others like them, please consider a donation to Gazette Charities. Any assistance will help.

All donations to the Gazette Charities Christmas Fund are tax-deductible. To give, look for the donation coupon in today's newspaper. To donate online, go to wvgazette.com and click on the Christmas Fund logo.

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Car wreck, work injury end family dreams http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141216/GZ01/141219544 GZ01 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141216/GZ01/141219544 Tue, 16 Dec 2014 00:01:00 -0500 By Rusty Marks CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Sometimes all it takes is one accident to send a hard-working family into poverty.

Annie, 29, had a good job and a promising future until she was hit broadside by a car while driving home from a friend's wedding. The wreck left her permanently disabled.

Sherry and her husband, John, decided to move back to West Virginia for support after John was permanently disabled in a work accident.

Both families are facing tough times, according to Carol Hilleary of Union Mission Ministries in Charleston.

After John lost his job, Sherry went to work caring for her elderly grandmother, while John's disability payments barely made ends meet. Sherry even took custody of a nephew.

Then her grandmother died, breaking Sherry's heart and taking away vital income, Hilleary said. When the pipes in the house froze, the family was able to make repairs, but the ceiling in three bedrooms and a hallway were ruined.

Hilleary said it will cost about $800 for labor and materials to repair the damage. John and Sherry just don't have the money.

Annie's accident left her unable to work. She is in constant pain and has many visits to the doctor and high medical expenses. She is barely getting by, and recently had to pay to replace her furnace, Hilleary said.

Now her water heater is rusted out and threatening to burst. Leaking water has destroyed the floor underneath it. Hilleary said it will cost about $200 for a water heater and about $1,000 to put in a new floor, but Annie doesn't have the money.

To help the Union Mission help John, Sherry, Annie and others like them, please consider donating to the Gazette Charities Christmas Fund. All donations to Gazette Charities are tax-deductible.

To give, look for the donation coupon in today's paper. To donate online, go to wvgazette.com and click on the Gazette Charities Christmas Fund logo.

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Grandmother trying to provide hope and new life for grandson http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141215/GZ01/141219685 GZ01 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141215/GZ01/141219685 Mon, 15 Dec 2014 00:01:00 -0500 By Caitlin Cook Living on a fixed income and with disabilities, this grandmother is trying to open her grandson's world to better opportunities late in her life.

The boy's mother abused meth and allegedly physically harmed him. His father struggled to create a life as he moved between women, places and drugs.

"I've laid and cried many nights worrying about my grandson," the grandmother said.

Finally, the grandmother gained custody of the 10-year-old boy two months ago.

She knows he is safe now, but they face a new set of struggles. His only possessions were a dirty T-shirt and pajamas. She sold all of her jewelry at a local pawn shop to buy him what basic needs she could.

Now this grandmother, who longs to provide her grandson a proper Christmas celebration, has turned to the Salvation Army -- one of the local help agencies supported by the Gazette Charities Christmas Fund.

Any help would be a blessing, the grandmother said. "All I want is to give my grandson stability, respect, love and see that he gets an education."

To help this family and others like them, please consider a donation to Gazette Charities.

All donations to the Gazette Charities Christmas Fund are tax-deductible. To give, look for the donation coupon in today's newspaper. To donate online, go to wvgazette.com and click on the Christmas Fund logo.

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Christmas Fund total tops $31,000 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141212/GZ01/141219823 GZ01 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141212/GZ01/141219823 Fri, 12 Dec 2014 00:01:00 -0500 A family devastated by a house fire. A mother of six dealing with the medical bills brought on by her cancer. A girl facing an unplanned pregnancy - only to find out that she's having triplets.

These are some of the stories that have been featured in the Gazette this week to illustrate the need in our community. But they are also stories of hope, thanks to donations to the Gazette Charities Christmas Fund, which now stands at $31,441, thanks to generous Gazette readers.

Christmas is drawing near, and we still have a long way to go to reach our fund-raising goal. Look for the donation coupon in today's paper if you would like to help, or go to wvgazette.com and click on the Christmas Fund logo to donate online. Donations support help agencies in our area.

Here is a list of this week's givers:

Anonymous, in memory of departed loved ones, $100

Marilyn Greathouse, in memory of Julia Greathouse, $50

Paul and Barbara Warder, $50

Peggy J. Barker, in memory of Angela Barker, $50

Barbara G. Givens, in memory of my son, James Graham Givens, and my husband, James Givens, $100

R.J. and Diana Barber, $100

Georgette Connelly, in memory of Bernie Connelly, $500

Lethia B. Bumgarner, $100

Joanna Osborne, $50

Fred Ferri Jr., $50

Anna L. Greenleaf, in memory of my husband, Lenn Edward Greenleaf, $100

The Kanawha City Lions Club, $750

Nina R. Peyton, $500

Robert and Wilma Avsec, in honor of Mary Lou Avsec, $70

Frances R. Allen, in memory of Bill Allen, Jr., William and Ruby Allen and Buster and Hazel Riffe, $150

Edward and Sue Baldwin, in memory of Megan Baldwin, $30

Ezra H. Cochran, in memory of Jennie Ellen Cook, $100

Jeff and Martha Osborne, in honor of Shane, Abby and Mason, $100

Jeff and Susan Stewart, in memory of our grandparents, $50

Sharon Chambers, in memory of Frank Chambers, $100

Bob and Millie Lynn, $100

Steve and Amy Golden, $200

Betty Caplan, in memory of Miriam and Fred Caplan, $50

Anonymous, in memory of OCD, $1,000

Sam and Melinda Sutton, $50

Susan Williams, in honor of Ken Ward, Jr., $50

Barb Gessner, in honor of Marian Patton, $25

Flora Francis, in memory of Bud Francis, $50

Albert Dress, in memory of Catherine Dress, $50

Joe and Margies Money, LLC, in memory of Joe, Margie and Anne, $100

John and Brenda O'Neil, in memory of John and Betty O'Neil and Buck and Evelyn Mitchell, $100

Fred and Tracy Edmonds Herz, in memory of Gladys May Cremeans, $500

Fred and Carol Bowen, in memory of Emitt and Beulah Bowen, $50

Fred and Carol Bowen, in memory of Carl and Macel Richardson, $50

Fred and Carol Bowen, in memory of Gary Silman, $50

Fred and Carol Bowen, in memory of Rick Silman, $50

Bobby and Tammy Lipscomb, $25

Ann C. Darling, in memory of Caroline E. Hopkins, $300

Richard and Wilma Naseef, in honor of William and Charlie, $50

Dolores Smith, in memory of David Smith, $25

Richard and Mary Comer, in memory of Margaret White, $50

Jim and Ann Nelson, $100

Anonymous, in memory of Freda Wylene Smith, $200

Anonymous, in memory of Geo Y. Anderson, III, $25

Earle and Barbara Brown, in memory of Laura Thomason, Cleo Kennedy and Jonathan Taylor, $250

Anonymous, in honor of our son and our parents, $50

Brooks and Barbie McCabe, in memory of Joe Neil, $100

Barry M. Myers, in memory of Ollie Ward Prichard, $40

Curtis and Lucy Withrow, in memory of Jerry Bradley, $100

Richard Ellis, in memory of Camilla and Floyd Ellis, $500

Samuel and Joan Henson, in memory of Scott and Andy Henson, $100

Barton and Julie Weese, in honor of the true meaning of Christmas, $50

Norma Hastings, in memory of William Michael Hastings, $100

Daniel and Dabney Phillips, in memory of Arthur and Doris Isaac, $100

Rita Wicks-Nelson, in memory of our son Rick, $100

Anonymous, in memory of Ron, Carolyn and Scott McGraw, $300

Anonymous, in memory of Clyde, Pearl and Randy Engle, $300

Jack Fellure, $100

Camille Keller, in honor of William H. and Helen I. Keller, $20

Kathy Parsons, in memory of Matthew Crigger, $25

Anonymous, in memory of Patty Legg, $50

Anonymous, in memory of Virginia B. Myers, $100

M. Blane and Mary Anne Michael, $150

Kathleen Trippany, $100

Anonymous, in honor of Kacey, Jordan and Mattie, $30

John and Gladys Moran, $100

Anonymous, in memory of Doug and Ricky, $100

Jack and Janet Durbin, in memory of Ruby, $25

Myrtle O'Dell, in memory of John, $50

Lucille E. Witt, in memory of Amos Witt, Oscar and Edna Witt and Marvin and Vay Casto, $75

Lucille E. Witt, in memory of Mrs. Barbara Witt and Mrs. Debbie Witt, $50

Anonymous, in memory of Betty Cook and Winifred Newman, $100

William and Rose Hensley, in memory of our parents, Earl and Nina Combs and Howard and Hetty Hensley, $100

Anonymous, in memory of Bud Patterson, $100

Ethel Lou Nicholas, in memory of Kathryn Nicholas, $25

George Ann Grubb, in memory of Ruth Grubb, $50

William and Paula Durham, in honor of Paul and Arlene Van Reenan Beverage, $50

William and Paula Durham, in honor of William G. and Anna Hanson Durham, $50

Freeman and Chiartas Attorneys at Law, $100

Anonymous, in memory of loved ones, $250

Frances J. Hyre, $10

Rosa L. Pickel, in honor of all grandparents, $150

Frank and Sally Snyder, $50

Rita Watson, $100

Elizabeth E. Chilton, in honor of my family, $500

Anonymous (combined), $3,740

Total for the week: $14,790.00

Grand total: $31,441.58

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(No heading) http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141211/GZ01/141219966 GZ01 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141211/GZ01/141219966 Thu, 11 Dec 2014 00:01:00 -0500 By Rick Steelhammer In 1926, members of the Charleston Mountain Mission church held a prayer meeting in the West Side hills that included a discussion of ways to help the community's underprivileged. To begin addressing that issue, a free will offering was collected at the end of the service, producing 30 cents in seed money.

Last year, Mountain Mission dispensed nearly $1.3 million to aid 13,577 people in need throughout Kanawha County, using a full-time staff of 24 and an army of 200 volunteers. While the non-profit, faith-based organization's charitable impact has grown dramatically over the years, so have the needs of those it serves.

Mountain Mission is one of the local help agencies supported by the Gazette Charities Christmas Fund.

"This has been one of our tougher years," said Paul Phoenix, Mountain Mission's social services administrator. "Requests for food have been higher than normal. The food has been coming in, but it's been a little slow. All of us involved with food distribution are getting behind this year."

Meanwhile, financial contributions from companies and corporate partners have been strong, but "income from the average contributor has noticeably fallen off," Phoenix said. "The people who used to regularly send money, or walk up and give us donations, we're just not seeing in the numbers we once did."

Mountain Mission, which now operates independently of the church that created it, provides emergency for those with immediate needs, such as fire victims, and financial aid to those needing help with rent, utility bills, medical and pharmacy expenses, work- or medical-related transportation and home repairs. It offers in-kind assistance with baby needs, basic household furniture, medical equipment, clothing, and by providing necessity kits to homeless, operating a food pantry, and partnering with state and federal food distribution programs. Each year, Mountain Mission volunteers prepare and distribute more than 1,000 Christmas food baskets.

Money to pay for overhead and administrative costs comes from a portion of proceeds from the sale of donated items offered at Mountain Mission's two thrift stores, operated at opposite ends of 7th Avenue, one at 1620 and the other at 3631.

"The thrift stores do quite well and make it possible to operate our programs without deducting anything for administrative expenses," Phoenix said.

Among those benefiting from Mountain Mission during the past year was Susan, who left her job with a small Kanawha County employer due to intolerable working conditions, and needed housing, which had been part of her work arrangement. Susan was able to find a new job and rent an apartment, but needed help obtaining beds and basic furniture for she and her daughter. Mountain Mission met those needs and stocked her pantry with food to help give Susan and her daughter a new start.

Sickness caused an unemployment situation that left the Burns family without the means to pay off an $1,100 power bill in order to have their electrical service restored. Mountain Mission partnered with several other agencies to share the cost of paying the overdue bill and having power restored to the Burns family's home.

Jack, a 27 year-old ex-convict was living in a homeless shelter, owning nothing but the clothes on his back, after his release from prison. At his request, Mountain Mission supplied him with interview-suitable clothing that allowed him to apply for and acquire a job and a place of his own.

Your donation to Mountain Mission will help benefit people like Susan, Jack and the Burns family.

In addition to cash, Mountain Mission welcomes donations of any good, usable household and personal care items that can support families or individuals in meeting their basic needs. Mountain Mission could also use the services of volunteers to help collect and sort non-perishable food.

Donated items can be taken to the Mountain Mission Thrift Store at 1620 Seventh Ave. in Charleston from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays. Arrangements can be made to have larger items picked up by visiting www.mountainmission.com, clicking the 'donations' tab, and completing an online pickup form.

You can help Mountain Mission continue its work by donating to the Gazette Charities Christmas Fund. All donations to Gazette Charities are tax-deductible. To give, look for the donation coupon in today's paper. Or, to donate online, go to wvgazette.com and click on the Gazette Charities Christmas Fund logo.

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Strong families boost wellbeing of children http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141210/GZ01/141219996 GZ01 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141210/GZ01/141219996 Wed, 10 Dec 2014 00:01:00 -0500 By Kate White CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Markus and Tamarra and their five children had been doing well.

But at the end of the summer, right before Taylor, Chelsy, Vivian, Gregory and Micky were set to head back to school, a fire broke out in their home, bringing about some heavy hardships.

Tamarra, who is furthering her education, and Markus, who works at a local business, are understandably anxious about their future - especially with baby number six on the way.

But that's where the Children's Home Society of West Virginia steps in. The organization works to strengthen families and to promote the wellbeing of children. Part of Children's Home Society's vision is to assure that each child in the state grows up in a safe and nurturing family that provides for his or her current and future needs.

As in the case of Vicky, who became a single mother of three several months ago. To make matters worse, her house burned down not long after. Vicky is working two jobs. She works at a fast-food restaurant during the week and, on the weekends, at a retail store.

Not only does Children's Home Society offer services to make sure Vicky's family has what it needs, programs like Parents Apart, provide divorcing parents the opportunity to learn about and discuss the effects of divorce.

Founded in 1896, the Children's Home Society is one of the charitable agencies supported by the Gazette Charities Christmas Fund. Please help the Children's Home Society continue its work by donating to the Christmas Fund.

All donations to Gazette Charities are tax-deductible. To give, look for the donation coupon in today's paper. To donate online, go to wvgazette.com and click on the Gazette Charities Christmas Fund logo.

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Mother of 6 needs help keeping them warm, fed http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141208/GZ01/141209258 GZ01 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141208/GZ01/141209258 Mon, 8 Dec 2014 17:43:44 -0500 By Kate White CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Patty beat cancer but couldn't celebrate long.

The mother of six has mouths to feed and keep warm this winter.

Not to mention the mountain of medical bills that have piled up and the stress of the holiday season quickly approaching.

Patty works hard every day but doesn't make a lot of money. Plus, she's a single mother. The father of her children isn't in the picture at all, and she has hardly any support from her extended family.

She barely makes ends meet.

Her stove stopped working recently and the family has been surviving on microwaveable foods. She's also worried about dressing her children - ages 2 through 11 - with clothing warm enough to fight the cold weather.

The Children's Home Society of West Virginia works to keep children like Patty's safe and healthy. It also promotes preserving and strengthening families.

Founded in 1896, the private, nonprofit child welfare organization is one of the charitable agencies supported by the Gazette Charities Christmas Fund.

Please help the Children's Home Society of West Virginia continue its work by donating to the Gazette Charities Christmas Fund.

All donations to Gazette Charities are tax-deductible. To give, look for the donation coupon in today's paper. To donate online, go to wvgazette.com and click on the Gazette Charities Christmas Fund logo.

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Needy parents and expectant mothers turn to Gabriel Project http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141208/GZ01/141209583 GZ01 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141208/GZ01/141209583 Mon, 8 Dec 2014 00:01:00 -0500 By Lydia Nuzum Lauren is young and overwhelmed - not only is her pregnancy unplanned, but she is expecting triplets in early 2015.

For Lauren, caring for one child on her income would prove difficult, but the prospect of buying three times the normal amount of diapers, formula and clothes is daunting.

Keenan and Jasmine's son was born prematurely, and is currently being cared for in the neonatal intensive care unit of an area hospital. After weeks of uncertainty, Keenan and Jasmine are looking forward to bringing their child home, but faced with large medical bills, they are having trouble affording the basics.

When Emily finally sought help, she was in a dire situation - five months pregnant and living under a bridge.

The Metro Valley Chapter of Gabriel Project helped find Emily temporary housing and referred her to other local agencies who could help her, as well. Like Emily, Jasmine, Keenan, Lauren and others across the Kanawha Valley have been helped by the agency, which has served expectant mothers and families in the region for more than 15 years. The Gabriel Project is able to provide assistance to families through the community's generosity, and is one of the charitable agencies supported by the Gazette Charities Christmas Fund.

The Gabriel project is a non-profit organization that serves pregnant women and those with children two years of age and younger in nearly 30 West Virginia counties by providing food assistance, clothing, needed items and counseling services. The agency has five chapters across the state; the Metro Valley Chapter, based in Charleston, has a waiting list of more than 40 families in need of a crib, and needs volunteers and donations to continue to serve the Kanawha Valley.

Please help the Gabriel Project continue their work by donating to the Gazette Charities Christmas Fund.

All donations to Gazette Charities are tax-deductible. To give, look for the donation coupon in today's paper. To donate online, go to wvgazette.com and click on the Gazette Charities Christmas Fund logo.

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Christmas Fund raises more than $16,000 so far http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141205/GZ01/141209567 GZ01 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141205/GZ01/141209567 Fri, 5 Dec 2014 00:01:00 -0500 Generous Gazette readers have given more than $16,600 to the Gazette Charities Christmas Fund during the early days of this year's fund drive.

Money raised by the fund will assist nine local agencies that help those in need.

Because Thanksgiving fell late this year, the giving season is a bit shorter, so please don't delay when considering a gift to Gazette Charities. The fund has a long way to go to meet its goal this year.

To give, look for the donation form in today's paper or go online to wvgazette.com and click on the Christmas Fund logo.

Here's the first list of givers to this season's Christmas Fund:

Joel Armstrong, in honor of Faith Armstrong, $50

Kemp L. McElwee, in memory of Collett Smith, $100

Joel R. Metz, $20

Daniel and Linda Taylor, in memory of Ed and Mary Porter Taylor, $100

Dorothy Caldwell, in honor of Tyler Zubick, $50

Lorena Ammar, in memory of Mary E. Ammar, $100

Joe and Beach Neenan, in memory of Grace and Paul Elkin, $100

Janice Runyon, in memory of Betty and Milton Lilly, $200

Larry Schneider and Helen Chilton, $200

Anonymous, in honor of Karin Fuller and Alyce Faye Bragg, $25

Marie Oxley, in memory of Bill Oxley, $200

Anonymous, in memory of Harold R. Fix, $100

Donna J. Shaver, in memory of Don and Vida Shaver, $100

Reid Pugh, in memory of my mother, Pat Pugh, $100

Ernest and Dorothy Woodall, in memory of Ernest Woodall Jr., Ivan and Hazel Woodall and John and Ida Hooper, $100

Andrew and Kara Garibian, in memory of Cheryl Trivison and Patricia Fisher, $25

Norma S. Levy, in memory of Thelma Shuck, $100

Albert Dress, in memory of Joe A. Dress Sr., $50

Phil Lawrence, $100

The Koleske Family, $100

June L. Robinson, in memory of Mrs. Willie Robinson, $30

Anonymous, in memory of Helen, $150

William Chambers, in memory of Carolyn Perry, $500

Truist, $31.58

Barbara C. Mason, in memory of Glada Conley Cox, $25

Richard and Susan Genthner, $100

Connie B. Stewart, in honor of Will, Clyde and Drew Stewart, $100

Emma L. Kennedy, in honor of Sandra and Chris, $100

Kenneth L. Shank, $10

Ruth Juanita Ong, in memory of Larry Randolph, $50

Nick Estes, $75

Anonymous, in memory of Callie Nicole Sergent, $50

Anonymous, in memory of Howard and Evelyn Cole, $50

Anonymous, in memory of Shelley, $20

James Haught, $200

Gloria Annie, in honor of Noble and Evelyn Green, $100

Steve Ledahawsky, $500

Jill E. Todd, in memory of Terry Lee Siers, $300

Mad Max and Anita Maxwell, in memory of Noell, Pearl, Bob and Becky Bland, $50

George Schneiter, in memory of Jeannie Schneiter, $500

Tina Rose Namay, in memory of Dr. Elliot M. Namay, $100

Doris Tabaretti, in honor of Jesus Christ, $50

Wesley and Marilyn Burns, in honor of our six grandchildren, $35

Paul and Myrna Parsons, in memory of our daughter, Cheryl, $100

Florian F. Ceperley, in memory of Mrs. Axson R. Ceperley, $50

Jim and Doris Smith, $200

Katherine Hastings, in memory of John Hastings, $50

Judith Hayes, in memory of Sammy, $30

Jeanette M. Alexander, in memory of John H. Alexander, $50

James D. Hunter, in memory of Joy A. Hunter, $40

Craig and Sue Selby, $500

Fred and Sandra Casteel, in honor of caregivers, $25

Mary E. Dickens, in memory of George W. Duff, $50

Ann Balkey, in memory of Ruben Jones, $50

West Virginia Torchbearer Epsilon Chapter, $25

Ruth Butler, in memory of Lester, Joycie and Henry Baker, $100

Anonymous, in memory of Benny and Josephine Divita and George and Minnie Lee Thomas, $50

Anonymous, in memory of my wonderful wife, $100

Barbara Murray, $100

Anonymous, in memory of MCC, $50

Larry Levak, $100

Peter Costello, $50

James and Leona Piercy, in memory of Jess and Prue Piercy and Frank and Virginia Fox, $100

Ron and Ramona Lockwood, in memory of Ernie Woodall, $100

Giles and Betty Breedlove, in memory of our parents, $50

Evelyn Borio, in memory of my brother Ray, $50

Lola C. Kinder, in memory of Private William L. Kinder, $200

Elliot William Harvit, $1,000

Marina Hendricks, in memory of Jerry and Pat Hendricks, $100

Anonymous, in honor of family, $100

Becky Ford, $100

Jerome L. Curry, in honor of Judge James Stucky, $300

Sandy Williams, in memory of my sisters Mary, Lucia and Theresa, $100

Michael Eakle and Beth Morrison, in memory of Ruth, Charles, Boyd and Hassie, $100

Nancy Samples, in memory of MGL, FEL and JAS, $50

"Mad Max" and Anita Maxwell, in memory of Boone, Bob and Jim Maxwell, $50

Mary E. Stanley, in honor of Abigail and Lydia, $200

Trip and Susan Shumate, in memory of Elizabeth Shumate, $150

Mary Russell, in memory of Allen, $100

Susan B. Orders, in memory of Bob Orders, $100

Larry and Marlyn Bissett, in memory of Dorothy Casto, $100

Anonymous, in honor of Barbara Koontz, $100

Herbert and Karen Harr, $100

Milton and Daisy Bennett, $25

B'nai Jacob Synagogue Ladies Auxiliary, $100

John Spence, in memory of Mike Wright, $200

Richard and Pamela Fauver, in memory of Chester and Nancy Winterstein, $100

Anonymous (combined), $6,210

Total: $16,651.58

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Gabriel Project helps pregnant women, families http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141204/GZ01/141209741 GZ01 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141204/GZ01/141209741 Thu, 4 Dec 2014 00:01:00 -0500 By Lydia Nuzum Brian works in a low-paying job and has trouble affording necessities for his child - he can't afford a crib, so his son sleeps with him in his bed. Items as basic as diapers, formula and clothing for the baby are a stretch for Brian.

Audrey recently became the guardian of her 2-week-old nephew after the baby's mother abandoned her child. Audrey doesn't make much money, but she doesn't qualify for public assistance, and although she has some things, like a crib, she quickly realized that there were many items she still needed - including a car seat and clothing - that would be difficult for her to afford.

Tonya and Matthew, a couple with a toddler and an infant, have had trouble getting by since Matthew lost his job. Their annual income is now only $1 above the limit to receive public assistance, but the two desperately need help affording formula, baby food, diapers and baby wipes.

The Metro Valley Chapter of the Gabriel Project helps people like Brian, Audrey, Matthew and Tonya across the Kanawha Valley, and it has served expectant mothers and families in the region for more than 15 years. The Gabriel Project is able to provide assistance to families through the community's generosity, and it is one of the charitable agencies supported by the Gazette Charities Christmas Fund.

The Gabriel Project is a nonprofit organization that serves pregnant women and those with children 2 years of age and younger in nearly 30 West Virginia counties by providing food assistance, clothing, other needed items and counseling services. The agency has five chapters across the state; the Metro Valley Chapter, based in Charleston, currently has a waiting list of more than 40 families in need of a crib, and it needs volunteers and donations to continue to serve the Kanawha Valley.

Please help the Gabriel Project continue its work by donating to the Gazette Charities Christmas Fund.

All donations to Gazette Charities are tax-deductible. To give, look for the donation coupon in today's paper. To donate online, go to wvgazette.com and click on the Gazette Charities Christmas Fund logo.

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Patchwork gives home to neglected children http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141203/GZ01/141209832 GZ01 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141203/GZ01/141209832 Wed, 3 Dec 2014 00:01:00 -0500 By Ryan Quinn CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Their stepfather drowned while on a fishing trip with them. Their mother, a drug abuser who was frequently in jail, had apparently left town without them.

The three children - Ricky, Cody and Olivia - were found living without water or electricity in Fayette County. When they were taken to foster care, they had difficulty adjusting. And when they eventually came to Patchwork, a shelter for runaway and homeless children age 12 and up, they had lice and many other medical issues.

Patchwork is a program of Daymark, one of the aid agencies supported by the Gazette Charities Christmas Fund. Daymark, a Charleston-based nonprofit, has been serving teenagers and young adults from across the state since the mid-1970s.

Patchwork, which is always open, provides free and confidential services including "emergency services" like food and clothing; referral to other helpful agencies and resources; and counseling for individuals, groups and families.

"Patchwork's mission is to respond to the needs of youth and families in crisis and to provide youth in high-risk situations with a safe alternative to the streets," Daymark's website states.

While the youngest child has gone to another facility, the other children remain at other Daymark programs. They're going to school and doing community service. Staff members are thrilled with their progress. The eldest, now 18, is looking forward to independence.

Daymark is always in need of necessities such as school supplies, blankets, socks, hairbrushes, toothpaste and Band-Aids.

Please help Daymark continue its work by donating to the Gazette Charities Christmas Fund.

All donations to Gazette Charities are tax-deductible. To give, look for the donation coupon in today's paper.

To give online, go to wvgazette.com and click on the Gazette Charities Christmas Fund logo.

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Turning Point helps teens become adults http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141202/GZ01/141209950 GZ01 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141202/GZ01/141209950 Tue, 2 Dec 2014 00:01:00 -0500 By Ryan Quinn CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A newspaper like this one, and cardboard, are what Jackie used to try to keep warm in the winter.

She spent the first decade of her existence with parents who seemed more interested in doing drugs than raising her. Neighbors saw her searching for food in garbage bins. She was placed in foster homes and group homes, but each time she would run away after one or two days.

She was in juvenile detention - after being caught stealing - when she heard about Turning Point, a Daymark program that provides a home for kids ages 15 to 19 who are in state Department of Health and Human Resources custody.

Daymark is one of the local help agencies supported by the Gazette Charities Christmas Fund.

"Youth work towards independence, moving through a four phase system where they earn increased freedom with increased responsibility," according to the website for Daymark, the Charleston nonprofit that's been serving teenagers and young adults from across the state since the mid-1970s. Those who graduate from Turning Point can return to a family, live independently or enter college or the military.

Youths enrolled in the program will, among other things, maintain part-time jobs, learn to use public transportation, cook healthful meals, stay alcohol- and drug-free and do laundry and other household chores.

Jackie is going to school and learning to cook at Turning Point. Now 16, she said it's the first time she's had her own toothbrush.

Daymark also operates New Connections, which has two programs. One is the Transitional Living Program, which serves homeless youths and those in state custody by providing supervised apartments, where they live alone, unless they have children.

Residents pay rent, based on ability to pay and apartment size, and they are required to keep them clean, have jobs, continue with their education, save money and learn life skills. After four to six months, staff help them find their own apartments and help them move in - providing necessities like dishes and towels - and continue offering case management and other needed services three times a week.

The Education Program accepts youths ages 17 to 21 who are interested in studying with an educator. They can attend full- or half-day classes, and don't have to be involved in the Transitional Living Program. They also receive food and other services, like weekly career help from a job skills counselor from the YWCA. Classes have no more than 15 students, allowing for individual attention.

"The New Connections Transitional Living Program has given me the necessary skills to save money for a future apartment and for college," wrote a current resident. "In addition, the Education Program has helped me to hone my academic skills in math and writing."

Please help Daymark continue its work by donating to the Gazette Charities Christmas Fund.

All donations to Gazette Charities are tax-deductible. To give, look for the donation coupon in today's paper.

To give online, go to wvgazette.com and click on the Gazette Charities Christmas Fund logo.

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Manna Meal provides hope for families http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141128/GZ01/141129326 GZ01 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141128/GZ01/141129326 Fri, 28 Nov 2014 00:01:00 -0500 By Erin Beck CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Patty, 53, broke down in tears as she told a Manna Meal employee about her recent job loss and her inability to feed herself and her 15-year-old son.

She said she was looking for work and was embarrassed about even having to ask for help.

Kay Albright, the Manna Meal outreach coordinator with whom Patty was speaking, said Patty told her that "Asking for a handout was more difficult than she had imagined."

Albright told her, "We don't give handouts here. We give a hand up."

Food is a basic need, Albright said. "If she is hungry, she is not good for her son or a potential employer," Albright said. "I told her, 'Let's get you and your son some food, then we can worry about the rest.'"

Albright said she hears stories like Patty's every day. "It's not people who don't want to work," she said. "They've come to the point in their life where they realize they need help and can't do it alone."

She said volunteers are often surprised to learn how many youths, including Patty's son, are served at the soup kitchen.

"This week the school system is off," she said on Monday. "We served so many children today. A couple of the volunteers were crying because there were so many children here."

"It was a little bit emotional for them to realize you can't fix everything, but occasionally you can make a little bit of a difference and a little bit of a dent, and give a little bit of a hand up for someone who needs it," she said.

Housed at St. John's Episcopal Church on Quarrier Street, Manna Meal is the largest soup kitchen in the city. It serves breakfast and lunch seven days a week.

"Anyone can come and have two meals a day, no questions asked," Albright said. "Individuals do not need to prove their need or meet some arbitrary government standard to be fed."

Manna Meal has been serving the city for 39 years. It serves approximately 150,000 meals a year.

It costs approximately $750,000 to operate each year. About $250,000 comes from in-kind food donations. Of the remaining $500,000, about 90 percent comes financial contributions from the community.

Breakfast is offered from 8 to 9 a.m. and lunch is served from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays.

Please help Manna Meal continue their work by donating to the Gazette Charities Christmas Fund.

All donations to Gazette Charities are tax-deductible. To donate online, go to wvgazette.com and click on the Gazette Charities Christmas Fund logo.

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Covenant House fills gap after benefit cuts http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141125/GZ01/141129609 GZ01 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141125/GZ01/141129609 Tue, 25 Nov 2014 00:01:00 -0500 By Rachel Molenda CHARLESTON, W.Va. - After the federal budget cuts known as "the sequester" took effect in 2013, millions of Americans lost benefits, including SNAP - a federal assistance program also known as food stamps.

Trina was one of those Americans.

Sixty-six years old and disabled, Trina receives $16 each month in SNAP benefits. That's less than the cost of one trip to the grocery store.

"Not very helpful sometimes," Trina said of her benefits. Her Social Security benefits were also reduced in recent years.

To make up for the losses, Trina turns to the local help agencies that work each day to assist those in need in the Charleston area.

For instance, Trina visits the food pantry at Covenant House in Charleston.

Covenant House is an organization that helps people with the fewest resources meet their basic needs, whether that's access to housing or food assistance.

By visiting the food pantry, Trina can access the food that makes for a balanced diet like meat, milk, fresh vegetables and cheese. She would never be able to afford that using her SNAP benefits.

Covenant House offers a choice pantry, which allows clients to pick their own items - food they truly want.

Covenant House is one of the beneficiaries of donations to the Gazette Charities Christmas Fund. Covenant House uses those monetary gifts to help those in need.

To help Covenant House continue to make a difference in the lives of people like Trina, please consider donating to the Gazette Charities Christmas Fund.

All donations to Gazette Charities are tax-deductible.

To give, look for the donation coupon in today's paper. To donate online, go to wvgazette.com and click on the Gazette Charities Christmas Fund logo.

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Covenant House provides shelter, other needs, for homeless http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141125/GZ01/141129485 GZ01 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141125/GZ01/141129485 Tue, 25 Nov 2014 17:32:00 -0500 By Rachel Molenda Willie Leach was on his way to Seattle when he hopped off the Greyhound bus he was riding and decided Charleston would be his home.

"I saw that water, that Kanawha River ..." Leach said. "So, I got off the bus, and I've been here ever since."

While staying at a men's shelter in Charleston, Leach, 54, heard about Covenant House, an organization that helps people with the fewest resources meet their basic needs.

"They don't have this type of organization in all states," Leach said.

Leach said he had two goals when he arrived in Charleston: Find a house and get a part-time job. In the year he's been in the city, Leach has achieved both.

He now has an apartment, a job and even saved enough money to get a small car.

Fred Brown, who works for Covenant House part-time, said he didn't find the organization. It found him.

While on disability, Brown, 57, decided to find a job instead of staying at home every day "watching Sports Center, nothing to do, nowhere to go, always hurting," he said. He was placed a year ago with Covenant House, although he wasn't sure at the time that people really needed what it had to offer.

"I really didn't feel the need for them, but now that I work here, it's like this is where I was supposed to be," Brown said.

"I've seen many come and many go, and I've helped a lot, and they've helped me."

Covenant House, which is one of the local help agencies supported by the Gazette Charities Christmas Fund, strives to be a safety net for those in the Charleston area who might be on a limited income or fall on hard times. Anyone, whether homeless, facing eviction or in need of food, can drop in and receive assistance.

Brown, who staffs the front desk each morning plays multiple roles at Covenant House.

At the time of his interview, Brown was also coordinating a winter coat donation with a local shelter for eight children. They were spending the night at the Sojourners shelter with their mother.

No one stays at Covenant House overnight, which is open from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and is located at 600 Shrewsbury Street in Charleston.

Covenant House also provides a space for people to gather, as many leave shelters during the day and can't hang out at places like parks or the nearby farmers market.

"If they go to the park, they're going to jail. The city police have a way of just picking them out, singling them out and putting them in jail," Brown said, referring to Slack Plaza, the site of several police stings over the summer.

"I know they'll be down there doing wrong sometimes. ... I'm not saying don't do something about that. What I'm saying is that not everyone down there is participating in illegal activities," Brown said.

Brown and Leach said it's difficult to find shelters and services specifically for single men. Many organizations they've encountered serve only women and children and men with children, they said.

"These people here ... they care about people. And they're trying to help Charleston, West Virginia, to get the homeless off the street," Leach said.

Leach said the homeless are seen as "outsiders."

"You've got to talk to some homeless people to understand that these people have a mind. They've got skills, degrees. You just hit a hard time," Leach said.

Homeless people need places like Covenant House, because they don't have many other options.

"When you're in a situation where you don't have nothing, everything you get is a blessing, even if you're just panhandling. If you ask the wrong person or you ask a series of people for money, now you're a nuisance and you're really just trying to get a sandwich or a hot dog," Brown said. "It's hard for some people."

To help Covenant House continue to make a difference in the lives of others, please consider donating to the Gazette Charities Christmas Fund.

All donations to Gazette Charities are tax-deductible.

To give, look for the donation coupon in today's paper. To donate online, go to wvgazette.com and click on the Gazette Charities Christmas Fund logo.

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Gazette Charities: Woman takes in sister's 7 kids, but means are limited http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141124/GZ01/141129791 GZ01 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141124/GZ01/141129791 Mon, 24 Nov 2014 00:01:00 -0500 By Rusty Marks The Union Mission helps people from all over.

People like Shelley, who agreed to take in her sister's seven children and raise them along with her own three kids when the sister got into trouble and faced losing her children.

According to Carol Hilleary of the Charleston-based charity organization, Shelley lives in the northern part of Roane County. Taking in seven extra mouths to feed was something she did willingly, but the act put a strain on her meager income.

Counting her own family, Shelley is now running a household of 14 people.

Hilleary said Shelley's children are sharing their own clothes with their cousins, but she doesn't have enough beds for everyone.

She said Shelley could desperately use a full-size bed and two twin beds.

She also needs a washer and a dryer, because the increase in the amount of clothes she has to wash makes a trip to the laundromat too expensive. Hilleary thinks it will cost about $1,600 for beds and a washer and dryer.

To help the Union Mission help Shelley and others like her, please consider donating to the Gazette Charities Christmas Fund. All donations to Gazette Charities are tax-deductible.

To give, look for the donation coupon in today's paper. To donate online, go to wvgazette.com and click on the Gazette Charities Christmas Fund logo.

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Gazette announces 2014 Christmas Fund http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141117/GZ01/141119500 GZ01 http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141117/GZ01/141119500 Mon, 17 Nov 2014 00:01:00 -0500 Thanksgiving falls late again this year.

Soon, those shopping days till Christmas will begin ticking down. The weekends and time for holiday parties will be numbered.

Sometimes, taking the time out to help the less fortunate can fall by the wayside.

Fortunately, Gazette Charities makes it quick and easy to give a hand up to others this holiday season.

The 19th annual Gazette Charities Christmas Fund kicks off today. The fund supports several local help agencies in our area, which, in turn, use your donations to meet the need in our community.

Starting one week from today, the Gazette will begin featuring stories illustrating that need. You will be able to read about the circumstances that brought people to their sometimes-dire situation, and what it will take to get them back on their feet.

The agencies supported by the fund this year include: Union Mission Ministries; Covenant House; Daymark; Children's Home Society of West Virginia; Mountain Mission; Gabriel Project of West Virginia; Heart and Hand; and The Salvation Army.

Last year, the fund was able to raise more than $74,700 for groups like these and the people they serve.

No gift is too small. But please don't delay. The need is there, no matter how many shopping days are left until Christmas.

To give, look for the donation coupon in today's paper. Or go to wvgazette.com and click on the Christmas Fund logo to give online.

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