Washington column for Nov. 20 [a]

’Tis the season of giving

Rappahannock Food Pantry manager Mimi Forbes accepts a $3,500 sponsorship check for the pantry from Mike Leake, regional president of Union First Market Bank, while behind them bank employees (from left) Sherry Cillo, Karen Williams, Stephanie Wharton, Pat Grigsby, Sarah Morgan, Kelly Settle, Toby Waterbury and Anita Raiford look on.Jan Clatterbuck | Rappahannock News
Rappahannock Food Pantry manager Mimi Forbes accepts a $3,500 sponsorship check for the pantry from Mike Leake, regional president of Union First Market Bank, while behind them bank employees (from left) Sherry Cillo, Karen Williams, Stephanie Wharton, Pat Grigsby, Sarah Morgan, Kelly Settle, Toby Waterbury and Anita Raiford look on.

The holiday season brings with it a spirit of giving, and local businesses, churches, foundations, farms and individuals embrace the spirit of giving as their mantra, especially during the holiday season.

The Rappahannock Food Pantry is among the beneficiaries of this county’s generosity. The Pantry feeds upwards of 200 families, more than 600 individuals, including children, adults and senior citizens — people in need of sustenance, assistance and help in times of trouble. Just this Monday (Nov. 17), pantry manager Mimi Forbes accepted a $3,500 check from Mike Leake, regional president of Union First Market Bank, to pay for Thanksgiving dinners for the less fortunate. This is the fifth year the bank has sponsored the dinners.

Pantry clientele, children and seniors alike, also benefit from free flu shots offered by the county’s Social Services department. And the Amissville Baptist Church, during their 6 p.m. Thanksgiving service this coming Sunday, will share offerings with the Pantry, thanks to the generosity of Bill Fletcher’s Hampton Foundation. Local area food drives are held by many organizations, including Stonewall Abbey Yoga and Wakefield Country Day School. St. Peter’s Catholic Church recently held a food drive that collected 900 pounds of canned goods and other foods.

This coming week an army of volunteers will assemble at the pantry to orchestrate the delivery of dinners — whole turkeys, fresh vegetables and desserts — to enable local families to enjoy a true Thanksgiving dinner. It is, for anyone who has ever volunteered, an especially moving experience, a humble and gratifying opportunity to give.

What a way to bring in the holiday spirit — by helping people in need.

For the family of Dairek and Megan Hess, of Bluefield, W. Va., a house fire took away some of that holiday spirit. On Oct. 31 (Halloween night) the family was forced out of their house by a chimney fire in the middle of the night. Smoke filled the house, making it unlivable. The family got out of the home safely, but aside from a few pieces of clothing and their dogs, they have lost everything because of smoke damage. They are temporarily staying with Megan’s parents, Trumania and Robert Kerns of Washington.

“The only reason they were able to get out alive is because the mom, Megan, stayed up to finish watching a movie they started,” said Lisa Pendleton, interim director of the Child Care Learning Center (CCLC). “She smelled smoke, and, by the time she got everyone together, the fire was too much and they got out just in time.”

For those who want to bring this season’s spirit of giving to a family in need, call CCLC at 540-675-3237 or mail a donation to CCLC, P.O. Box 520, Washington, VA 22747.

Book Barn sale

Ready to plan next year’s vacations? Worrying about a cold, cold winter? Like to live vicariously?

Journey to the Book Barn, beside the library on Library Road, to browse the travel books, now on sale for half price! In the collection are beautiful picture books on Alaska, Virginia, China and points in between; travel guides for Hawaii, Africa and Mongolia; and travel stories set in Paris, Rome and other faraway places.

The Book Barn is open 9 to 3 Saturdays. All books are donated, and all who work at and for the Book Barn are volunteers. Funds raised go to the Rappahannock Library.

Condolences

Condolences go out to Michelle Schwartz of Washington on the death of her father, Kenneth Ray Roth, 80, from Chesapeake, Va., who passed away on Wednesday, Nov. 12. Michelle, our prayers are with you and your family. Your dad will be missed, but his memories and his spirit will always be with you in your heart.

Sympathy goes out to Jean Alther and Mabel Burke, and Richie Burke, on the death of their mother and grandmother, respectively, Annie B. Hawkins, age 96, of Washington. Born in Rappahannock County, she passed away at Fauquier Hospital on Saturday, Nov. 15.

The family accepted visitors at Moser Funeral Home yesterday (Nov. 19) in Warrenton. Interment followed at Washington Masonic Cemetery.

Brittani’s bake sale

Brittani Dodson, a third-year nursing student at Shenandoah University, has been traveling to Panama with other students to help set up the country’s first special-needs orphanage. So far, Brittani, an impassioned volunteer with a vision to help special needs children, has traveled there using her own resources, raised from working and fundraising. She is having a bake sale from 8 to 1 p.m. at the Quicke Mart on Rt. 211 this Saturday (Nov. 22) to help raise funds for her next trip to Panama (in December). Saturday’s offerings include pumpkin rolls, carrot cakes, muffins, cookies and more. Here’s your chance to keep from baking for the Thanksgiving holiday — make sure to stop in and buy some goodies.

Wishes

Birthday wishes go out to a dear, special lady, Ruth Baumgardner of Washington. She celebrated her special day on Monday (Nov. 17).

Stay warm and have a wonderful week!