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Ukrainian Donations, St. Paddy’s Day Celebration, and Home Improvement Anticipation

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day, and good luck to all on planning whatever home improvement is needed. Before I get to both of those topics, I have a little more serious issue to talk about.

I am always amazed how the people of the West Branch Valley come together during a crisis, whether it’s here at home or halfway around the globe. This has been on full display recently in support of the Ukrainian people. Several folks have contacted me about helping those in Ukraine and the estimated 2.5 million individuals that had to leave their homeland. I have encouraged all to make sure they’re working through a legitimate source regarding whatever their donation is.

There are no people in the world more generous than those from the United States of America, and whatever the crisis, Pennsylvanians seem to lead the way. Unfortunately, today’s scam artists often target tragedy.

So, at this point, I feel the best thing I can do is share with you the words from Pennsylvania’s top prosecutor, Attorney General Josh Shapiro. “So, as we applaud Pennsylvania for wanting to help, we want to encourage them to make a charitable donation and have it go to actual charities so they don’t get scammed.” AG Shapiro follows this up with, “Don’t respond to unsolicited calls. You seek out the charity and take the initiative to ask them, the charity, how your money is going to be used. Any legitimate charity should be able to answer that for you.”

This is well said by AG Shapiro and can be applied to any unsolicited call or people that you don’t know approaching you randomly for charitable donations.

Moving right along to the luck of the Irish and Saint Patrick’s Day — Spring has sprung across the West Branch Valley. We all understand that snow is very probable; however, it can’t last for long. And as long as that thermometer reads above 50 and the sun’s out, it feels like a summer day.

Saint Patrick’s Day provides an opportunity for us to all be Irish for a day and come together and enjoy Irish traditions. Officially it began as a celebration of Christianity coming to Ireland and became an official Christian feast day in the early 17th century. It has grown into a religious and cultural holiday celebrated around the world.

Locally it’s a time for parades, celebration, and some great Irish cuisine with the adult beverage of your choice. It always brings a smile to my face to make the trip across the bridge and meet with Mr. Bobby Griffin at the Shamrock and prepare his Saint Patrick’s Day ad. I always enjoy the conversation, and this is a true sign that we’ve made it through February and great weather days are ahead. I also especially enjoy their clam chowder.

Along with all the birds I see migrating back to our area, another true harbinger of Spring is our Webb Weekly Spring Home Improvement Guide. Which just happens to coincide this year with Saint Patrick’s Day.

All of us at Webb Weekly take great pride in providing the special insert to the paper. It’s a great how-to guide of contractors, services, and products for the do-it-yourselfer. We appreciate all those featured within our Spring and Fall Home Improvement sections and the difficult job they have each and every day. It goes without saying with the increasing cost and post-pandemic supply chain issues; things have gotten even tougher this year.

Please, whenever possible, use the services and buy products from local businesses. This only strengthens our local economy. Please also understand and be patient during current times that it may take a little longer to get the products needed for your home improvement project. The same can be said about those providing a contracting service for you. They are obviously facing the same product availability issue, coupled with the fact we flat out need more workers within the vocational trades.

Earlier in my column, there were ways discussed to make sure you’re not getting scammed when it comes to charitable donations. The same advice can be applied to whatever purchase you’re making around your home. You should be the one seeking out the services or product. Be careful when someone just walks down your driveway with something to sell you or calls you on the phone with a great new plan to heat or power your home. The best way to prevent a home makeover nightmare is to do your homework.

As the outdoor activities are on the increase and more folks are out and about, let’s all be careful out there. Please, if you have a little too much St. Paddy’s Day celebrating, don’t drive and drive.

God Bless America.

Jim Webb