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‘Helping Each Other’

Clothing Donations Aid In Community Offering

Cindy Thompson is pictured hanging hats and scarves on a clothes line she strung about two weeks ago. On Tuesday, someone left Thompson a basket of items to be strung for the community offering. P-J photo by Eric Tichy

A kind gesture by a Jamestown woman during the Thanksgiving holiday seems to have caught on locally.

About two weeks ago, Cindy Thompson hung a clothes line in front of her 16 W. Ninth St. home and strung bags containing an assortment of gloves, hats and scarves. She had seen similar projects pop up in the city over the past few years, and felt establishing her own free community offering was the right thing to do with winter approaching.

“There are a lot of people in need and a lot of people without homes,” Thompson said. “I know I had seen these types of things in the park, but I didn’t know if anyone was doing it this year.”

Thompson started by going to the St. Luke’s Thrift Shop and local dollar store to purchase as many winter items as she could. The goal is to hang the items in bags and offer them free to anyone walking by.

In the two weeks since Thompson began hanging the hats and scarves outside her home, she said about 10 to 15 items were taken by members in the community.

Comfort Today in West Ellicott sets up its “Thankfulness Tree” every Thanksgiving. Members put what they’re thankful for on the tree. Submitted photo

On Tuesday, Thompson received a knock on her front door. Assuming it was her niece dropping of baby clothes to be included in the community offering, Thompson said she was “shocked” to find a basket containing hand-knitted items including hats and scarves.

“It amazes me — it just amazes me,” Thompson said of the kind gesture. “I was just astounded by it.”

Thompson has begun hanging some of the donated items on the clothes line; some of the bags are labeled with its contents.

Asked what Thanksgiving means to her, Thompson said: “It just means to give. I try hard. I try to be decent and keep things together. It’s about family and helping each other.”

PLENTY TO BE THANKFUL FOR

Area residents have plenty to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. The Post-Journal recently posed the question and received several answers in response.

At Comfort Today, an adult daycare service located on Gifford Avenue in West Ellicott, staff set up a “Thankfulness Tree” every Thanksgiving. Jillian Jewell, Comfort Today director, said members are adults from the community who attend the program, “whether it be five days a week or a few times a week. Some of our members attend because they have memory impairments that require supervision throughout the day in order to give their caregivers peace of mind.”

On this year’s “Thankfulness Tree,” members wrote: “Thankful for my friends at Comfort,” “Thankful for grandchildren,” and “Thankful for French vanilla creamer” among others.

“I am thankful for the wonderful folks that I have been able to meet through my job, including the members of Comfort Today and the staff I work alongside everyday,” Jewell added. “Each one has brought joy to my everyday.”

Asked what people are thankful for this Thanksgiving, area residents responded:

¯ Tom Hayes Sr.: “I’m super thankful for my youngest daughter and my grandchildren.”

¯ Liz Walters: “I am thankful for family friends and good health.”

¯ Diane Thomas-Foulk: “Family.”

¯ Alba Arters: “Very thankful for my husband, family, health and independence, freedom in America, safe and warm home, food, memories, my Christian heritage and my God’s love, peace, protection, and acceptance of me.”

¯ Carmen Perez: “I’m thankful for my friends and family.”

¯ Terra Lent: “Heat, my family and that my new kids book is about to be release.”

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