The first week of nominations for Hoch Publishing Company’s donation of $1,000 to one or more local charities, families, or individuals generated eight nominations. I was a bit surprised that most of the nominations were for individuals and families, rather than charity organizations, but all of the nominations were for very good reasons.
Four readers — Kerry Maag, Dawn Chizek, Deborah Bowman, and an anonymous reader — nominated families who are trying to make the best of things in difficult circumstances. Chizek nominated a family that was cut to a single meager paycheck because of cuts at one spouse’s place of employment.
“I want those kids to have an amazing Christmas and mom and dad to feel some relief and peace and actually enjoy the holiday with a happy heart,” Chizek wrote. “They do so much and give so freely to their community, they deserve some given back to really know how it feels when they feel the love returned back to them. Pay it forward, right?”
Maag nominated a family whose income has been cut to a single earner because of health problems. The anonymous reader also nominated a family that has lost a wage-earner, but to injury rather than illness. The other spouse is working three jobs and studying full-time to try to improve their lives, the anonymous reader wrote on the nomination form.
Bowman nominated a family that has been reduced to a single earner, although she didn’t mention the circumstances how that happened.
“They could use help to pay bills and get toys for the boys,” Bowman wrote. “All their money goes for bills.”
Amber Hancock nominated a mother-daughter pair, Debbie and Bethany Regier, both because of hardship in their lives and in recognition of their work in childcare.
“Not only did Debbie push for a day-care facility in Marion, she is very active in the rules and regulations for all day-care providers,” Hancock wrote.
Multiple people nominated Marion County Emergency Food Bank, citing it as a way to help many people in need. Nikki Reid of Marion nominated Marion Community Christmas.
“They give to so many needy families to help bring joy to children,” Reid wrote. “I myself have used the program, and I don’t know what I would have done for my children had that program not been available.”
A common theme among the nominations were that these are people or organizations that make other people’s lives brighter, and the people making the nominations expressed that they wanted to return the favor. There are still three weeks to nominate someone or an organization that makes your life brighter, and on Dec. 21, the newspaper will announce whom a selection panel chooses to receive the $1,000 donation, which could be divided among multiple nominees.
On a related note, Hancock’s nomination of the Regiers was selected in a weekly random drawing to receive a $25 gift certificate.
— ADAM STEWART