Nobly Salvaging the Close of 2014

It’s been a soul-suck of a year, right? On a legal level, human level – and on a personal and family level, at least ’round here. It’s easy to write off the rest of it, to just kind of say “DONE” and start smearing that dry eraser across the wasteland that was 2014.

But seriously, is that any way to go into a New Year? Any way to Start Fresh? Just calling the bad stuff a wash and limping through the holidays so we can change that number at the end and pretend we’re dragging nothing behind us?

I’ve said repeatedly that’s what I planned to do. Just try to make it through and have this year be OVER. Because yeah, we had our high spots, but the lows make us ashamed, don’t they? We can’t leave it this way. I’ve spent far too many quiet hours, feeling useless and helpless, waiting for the calendar days to go faster!

It won’t work. Giving up and trying to forget never works. So we HAVE TO do some things these last few weeks of 2014, to show in good faith we DO have hope for 2015, and we’re going in riding the high of already having a jump on a better new year.

Don’t worry, this isn’t all ‘general advice’ purple prose type stuff, I’m getting ready to lay some assignments on you peoples! I’m tired of sighing and squinting into the distance. Boohoo on sitting still. Get off your asses. There’s plenty you can do, and it’s easy, and it helps.

Here we go:


Jackson-Vinton Community Action, in conjunction with the Ohio Governor’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, and Operation Warm, are (for the second year in a row) doing a kid’s coat drive to beat ALL coat drives! We’re talking brand-spanking-new coats for kids, gorgeous and well-made, from toddler through age 17. I’ll post the info on how to qualify below.

How can you help??

1. Share the flier, so people know where the events are, how to qualify, who to call. I’ve plastered it all over Facebook.

2. Peel a twenty, or a twenty and a ten off your Christmas spending money and go to Walmart, Kmart, The Dollar Store, CVS, Walgreen’s, wherever – and buy as many pairs of gloves and toboggans as that will buy, then get ahold of me or Community Action (740-384-5119), or drop them off directly at the CA office, and we’ll have gloves and hats to go with the coats. Lots of businesses and organizations in the area are on board and have done this – we even got a ton of scarves from the Columbus Crew!


3. Go through your closets and drag out all those sweaters and jackets and winter coats (for kids and adults!) you haven’t worn in years, run them through the wash and bring em on up to Community Action. Or me. Or any of the lovely people that work there. I’ll be up there a couple times a week through spring sorting, and wouldn’t it be cool if someone stopped in to get a coat for their daughter and also found three nice sweaters and a pair of boots to take home to her as well?

THE INFO!! Click to enlarge, and please save and reshare…image



Operation Paperback – they’re like a hub of reading material for the troops – vets, those deployed, et al. Since the 1999 this awesome organization has been getting reading material and enjoyment out to the men and women in all aspects and branches of the service. It’s SUPER EASY and SUPER LOW PRESSURE to sign up as a volunteer. There are no requirements or parameters to your level of participation: when you have extra  books, you simply log in and look for an address (a base, hospital, home) looking for those kinds of literature, print out an Operation Paperback shipping label, and send it on its way! I highly recommend signing up to get the “special requests” email newsletter – it arrives every so often and is worth a scan, so you can go “oh, I have some extra Stephen King paperbacks” or  “Well I have read the *insert name* biography eight times! I could probably let it go,” and get an address and send those along!




So there you go. Get up. Christmas ain’t ALL about you. And this year is not lost. Don’t give yourself an easy out to do nothing and give over to 2014-induced ennui. Yesterday, in just a few hours, I saw a lot of coats go to a lot of kids. I saw a lot of people come in with their paperwork in order on their lunch hours or before or after work to make sure their kids were taken care of. And it heals my soul to think that maybe I helped a little.

Peace, and Happy Holidays!!

– Amanda


Operation Warm Main Site:



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