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Great things are happening here

Too often that which is good is overshadowed by that which is bad. And, goodness knows, there is plenty of bad stuff happening in the world these days.

But great things are happening right here in Pickens County. We need to take a moment to remember these accomplishments and to think of other things we have inadvertently not included on this list.

1.            A whole lot of giving going on – The Thrift Store announced last month they had just given away their $3 millionth dollar to the benefit of people in this area. That is quite a pile of cash from a group that operates solely on volunteer and community service work and sells mainly old couches, clothes and whatever else people donate. Aside from the cash generated, no small benefit of the Thrift Store is that most of the stuff taken in and put up for sale would have ended up in a landfill otherwise. That’s recycling at its finest.

2.            Joy, Joy, Joy at their House At the end of 2011, the Joy House announced strong year-end giving and a generous matching pledge pushed them over the top with funding to complete a boys home/school at the Joy House campus on Cove Road. Joy House founder Steve Lowe said the real blessing is that the Christian ministry can now accept eight teenage boys into its program, up from the four that could previously be served. Over the years ahead, that expansion amounts to a lot more boys given a place to get their life on solid footing before they reach adulthood.

3. On the other side of the county - The Good Shepherd Ranch, with little publicity, has created a Christ-centered institution to help boys who cannot live with their biological parents. Founder John Smith welcomes troubled boys to stay until they graduate.

4.            And, still focusing on the youth -  The Boys and Girls Clubs around here have shown they are serious in their intent and effort to build a much-needed youth club on the grounds of Roper Park. The group announced they have $1 million in hand of the $2 million needed for the planned 23,000 square foot youth center that will serve both elementary school children and teenagers in two separate areas.

These are just a few recent events, ours to be thankful for in this community. These are great things, but they are not isolated. Rather, they signify the type groups we have operating here and the kind of people hereabouts still making an impact, regardless of any general feeling concerning the world at large.

We also have:

The Rotary Club at work on a new youth park facility for the county.

The Hope House taking in young people with nowhere else to live as their parents try to sort through their own issues (with some help from the court).

CARES, the food pantry, feeding way too many people.

The Pickens County Developmental Disabilities Ministries, pressing hard to open and staff a new supervised home here for adults with developmental disabilities.

Jasper’s Burnt Mountain Center, providing training and supervision through its daily program to developmentally disabled citizens, enabling them to find meaningful work that produces a positive impact on the community at large.

Habitat for Humanity working on new homes and chances.

And these are just the groups that came readily to mind. Undoubtedly with this much going on in Pickens County, we are blessed for certain. Looking from here, things don’t seem nearly as bad as they are often portrayed in the wide wide world.

Editor’s Note to whichever group we somehow overlooked: Sorry, it wasn’t intentional.