It seems like every year, once September rolls around, the holiday season is fast on its heels. Schedules quickly fill with family meals, holiday concerts, shopping, traveling, parties and more. With all of the hustle and bustle, it’s easy to lose sight of what the season means: charity and love for your fellow human beings.
We are grateful all year long for the support we receive from the community that allows us to continue doing good for the seniors. But during the holidays, we are especially reflective and appreciative. Because without community support, we would not exist. It’s as simple as that.
So, on behalf of the O’Neill Center and the Belpre Senior Center, I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has made a difference for us this year. It would be impossible to thank everyone individually in this space. Please know, you all mean the world to us.
Some organizations, businesses and individuals have gone over and above in the past month and we would like to acknowledge their contributions. Over the Moon Pizza and Pub and Pasky’s Sports and More helped us to provide holiday meals to 100 families; Peoples Bank also was hugely instrumental in this holiday meal box program; our supporters all over Washington County helped us secure the first place win in the Nonprofit Challenge toy drive for the second year in a row; Marietta Community Foundation and Superior Toyota Hyundai helped to again make this year’s challenge fun and rewarding; and our amazing staff pulled together to not only collect but deliver close to 300 toys!
The year that was 2021 is almost drawing to a close and we look forward to what 2022 will bring. We aren’t in a rush, however. Folks can still look forward to our Craft Show returning in person on Dec. 4. Our facility will have lots of vendors and baked goods for sale. On Nov. 30, we ask you to participate in Giving Tuesday, a global movement to practice “radical generosity.” Whether it’s making someone smile, helping a neighbor or stranger out, showing up for an issue or people we care about, or giving some of what we have to those who need our help, every act of generosity counts, and everyone has something to give.
Lastly, please watch your mail for our annual appeal letter. Last year at this time we asked for your help with general support. In May, we asked for your help to purchase a new van. All in all, through your generosity, we collected roughly $23,000 during these two appeal cycles. That is astounding – but the work isn’t done. As a 501(c)(3), nearly 32% of our funding comes from donations, grants and fundraisers. The rest is from the Washington County Senior Services Levy and some state and federal funding. It is not my most favorite part of the job, asking for financial assistance. But it is a necessary part for any nonprofit. We are just so fortunate that the community continues to see the value in what we do.
As a thank you, we invite you to visit our tree in Marietta Main Street’s Holiday Tree Walk. It is in honor of our board of trustees, another group of volunteers who tirelessly advocates for the community’s seniors. The tree walk will be Dec. 1 through Dec. 31 in Muskingum Park. Come enjoy the beautiful trees, visit us at the Santa House on Dec. 18, and, again, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your continued support.
Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! From all of us at the O’Neill Center and Belpre Senior Center.
Erin O’Neill is Development Coordinator for The O’Neill Center, located at 333 Fourth St. in Marietta.