OPINION COLUMNS

Wise shows its generous spirit

By Brian Knox | Published Wednesday, December 14, 2011

It’s hard to make a sweeping generality of a large population. And it’s also not smart.

Wise County is made up of unique individuals. You can’t say something like, “The people of Wise County are (fill in your comment here.)” Everyone is different.

Brian Knox

Brian Knox

Having said that, I’m going to make a bit of a generality.

Wise County citizens are a giving bunch. Do I know that to be a fact? No, of course not. I’m only going by what I see with my own eyes.

Take Saturday, for instance. Our Rotary Club members each took a two-hour turn ringing the bell for Salvation Army in front of Walmart in Decatur.

When I arrived to put on the familiar red apron and grasp the wooden handle of one of those little bells, a fellow Rotarian told me about a donation that had just been made moments earlier. A man had written a $500 check and donated to the cause.

While I don’t think anyone donated that much on my watch, I did notice a steady stream of donations. In fact, after ringing the bell for probably the last five or six years, it seems like the number of people donating was as high as I’ve ever seen it.

And once again, I saw parents encouraging their young children to donate money. Usually it was in the form of coins, dropped in one by one, of course.

Just a couple of days earlier, my wife and I had brought back the gifts for the angels we had “adopted” through the Spirit of Christmas campaign. There beneath and around the tree in the lobby of the bank was bag after bag of gifts that will soon be given to kids who otherwise might not receive a present for Christmas.

It’s a scene that has played out all across the county with other Spirit of Christmas campaigns. When the need is there, Wise County residents step up to the challenge.

Even though times are tough for many this year, people are still giving what they can to help.

Yes, Wise County, you have a generous spirit. I consider myself lucky to live among such people, knowing that if I ever find myself in need, a helping hand won’t be far away.

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