The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Editorials

January 7, 2014

Our giving nature | Region's generosity is well-documented

JOHNSTOWN — We have always been amazed by the charitable nature of the residents in the Greater Johnstown region. So it came as no surprise to us when we reported that there was an upswing in charitable donations during this past holiday season.

At the Salvation Army’s thrift store along Eisenhower Boulevard in Richland Township, donation carts were piled high with holiday decorations – new and used.

Peggy Artice, store manager, explained that many people donate their older items to charitable organizations after they purchase new items.

“Plastic trees. Garland and lights. We were just sorting through a box of that,” Artice told our David Hurst. “We start getting a lot of that after the holiday.”

Donating unwanted Christmas items is a fantastic way for homeowners to avoid a buildup of clutter in their attics, basements and/or closets. And it’s also a wonderful way that less fortunate families can afford the same items at reduced costs when they shop at thrift stores.

But it doesn’t have to be just Christmas decorations. We have reported numerous times of how residents in our region have responded to pleas for donated items after fires, floods or other disasters. People are quick to part with furniture, appliances, electronic items, bedding and clothing to help families and individuals who have lost similar items in disasters.

Televisions lined a wall of the St. Vincent de Paul thrift store’s Central Avenue site in the Moxham section of Johnstown.

“People buy new TVs and they have to make room for them,” store manager Sally Hinton told Hurst. “Fortunately, they think of us.”

We have heard of many residents who make it a rule that in order to hang a new article of clothing in their closet, they must remove an article of clothing from the closet. And most often, that replaced item is donated to a thrift store, such as Salvation Army, Goodwill or St. Vincent de Paul.

And it’s not just durable goods that our residents part with. Many are known to answer the call to replenish food pantries, for both humans and animals. And how many of us will, without hesitation, drop our spare change into a donation jar collecting funds for a sick individual that is sitting on the counter of our favorite convenience store?

“People are very generous about giving here in Johnstown, Hinton said.

We couldn’t agree more. It’s a trait that has been passed down through families, and it’s a trait that we hope will never disappear from our area, not only during the holidays, but all year through.

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