A MOVE by the Belmont County Senior Services warmed our hearts while warming countless individuals recently.
The Ohio Valley was placed in a deep freeze for a few days last week. The wind chill iced the area with 30 below readings. The weather was more than discomforting, it was potentially deadly.
Many local residents were not equipped to stay warm or safe. They were definitely placed in harm's way.
The Belmont County Senior Services stepped up to provide much-needed relief to those in desperate need of it. Senior services offered warming centers for elderly residents during the frigid days last week. The warming centers were held at the 10 senior centers in Belmont County.
It marked the maiden voyage for senior services in providing warming centers. The effort proved quite successful.
"We had an increase of about 10 to 15 percent," said Program Coordinator David Hacker. Many were senior citizens.
The warming centers not only provided much-needed shelter from the frigid cold, they served two other purposes.
The centers enabled many to save on heating bills, allowing residents to turn down the heat during the day. In addition, the warming centers offered hot beverages and meals.
Senior services is also working with HEAP to help seniors with high bills. They will receive help in filling out the applications as well.
Those who needed overnight help were directed to one of the Emergency Management Agency 24-hour warming centers. Several local churches and other agencies also offered relief centers during the cold snap.
The warming and relief centers that come to fruition last week again epitomizes the selfless and caring spirit that calls the Ohio Valley home.