Editorial:

Being part of a caring community

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If you ask a Powell resident why they choose to live here, there’s a great chance they’ll mention the friendly folks.

Time and again, the Powell community has proven itself to be generous and caring.

Many of these acts of kindness are small — a quiet hello offered to someone walking by, some baked goods delivered to a neighbor or a friendly wave given on a dusty rural road. Other efforts are much bigger, such as the seemingly weekly fundraisers that raise thousands of dollars for people suffering from serious illnesses or a loss in their family.

But beyond these spontaneous efforts, Powell is fortunate to have a network of dedicated non-profit organizations standing by to assist those in need. And, even more fortunately, we have volunteers willing to step up and lead those efforts.

While there are many examples of local residents offering their time and talents to help others, one of the most recent is the group coming forward to lead the former Powell Council of Community Services.

The council is best known for its annual Christmas Basket program, which delivers gifts and Christmas cheer to families in need, but that’s only a fraction of the group’s work. All throughout the year, the Powell Council of Community Services has offered financial assistance to folks who need a tank of gas, a prescription or help with an overdue utility bill.

Dave Blevins and Jim Carlson helped lead the council for decades, but they recently decided to retire.

For months, it was unclear who — if anyone — would be willing to step up and take over; it wasn’t too far-fetched to worry that the council might go the way of other local service organizations and fold for a lack of interest.

But recently, an association of local churches, led by Powell Police Department Coordinator of Chaplains Chuck Hewitt, decided they would continue the council’s work as the Powell Cares Alliance.

Hewitt and a group of local pastors will provide assistance to folks who are having a hard time — including by arranging counseling, pointing out possible job opportunities and making other efforts to help those people get back on the right track for the long haul.

“Between us all we’ll decide how we can help that person,” Hewitt said.

It’s comforting to know that this “safety net” will remain available to Powell area residents.

We’re also thankful that Hewitt and the Powell Ministerial Association were willing to take on this vital mission. After all, a caring community doesn’t just magically happen: It takes people taking action — from volunteers who serve as a Big Brother or Big Sister to donors who provide food for Powell Valley Loaves and Fishes to friendly people willing to say hello to a stranger.

While the Powell Cares Alliance found the leaders it needs, we hope you’ll consider other ways that you, too, can make our community a kinder and more caring place.

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