Ruritans, VFW answer the call

Published 10:47 pm Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Editor, The Smithfield Times:

In these past months in which our community and state have been plagued by the coronavirus, then had to deal with racial disparity pointed out by the Black Lives Movement, it became easy to conclude that all news is bad news and we just cannot get along. However, it has come to my attention that acts of civility and goodwill are still being extended in our community.

My example is how unrelated civic organizations come together to foster community programs. I am involved with the local chapter of Virginia Master Naturalists, which provides an extensive basic training course to develop a cadre of volunteers to assist in environmental education and awareness programs. We had only begun our 2020 training when COVID-19 forced us to shut down. However, after the Master Naturalists figured out a way to continue our training electronically, we still needed a venue for a small group of four or five trainees to meet. The Isle of Wight Ruritans stepped up and allowed us to use their facilities across from the courthouse complex. Without this kind gesture, the training would have had to have been discontinued. I thank the Ruritans for allowing us to finish up our class.

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When we got to the last class in late June, we found that the Ruritan facility would not be available either. When we asked the Smithfield VFW if we could use a room in its facility, they graciously consented. I also thank the VFW for its role in allowing the Master Naturalists to complete the 2020 training.

When groups cooperate, good things happen for the community, even in the hardest of times.

Stephen Anderson