The LIVE UNITED Kick-Off Auction is slated for Saturday, and perhaps the United Way quilt, an annual project undertaken by local residents, is the best metaphor to help explain just how important United Way of Randolph County is to our community.
This year's quilt will be on display at Citizens Bank of West Virginia in Elkins until the day of the auction. Sue Pifer, owner of the Elkins Sewing Center, said the quilt took nearly a year to complete.
"In January, we put together the quilt block kits containing material for the quilt, that people come and purchase," Pifer said. "Quilters throughout the community craft their blocks ... the completed blocks are put on display and those visiting the store are encouraged to vote for their favorite block. A small gift is given to the quilter of the favorite block."
This year, the quilt has been named "Hope Blooms."
In some ways, the United Way of Randolph County is like that quilt. It is also made up of many pieces, all of them different - the United Way's pieces are the businesses and individuals who contribute money and time to accomplish the agency's mission.
Each piece is important by itself, but together they form something powerful enough to change the lives of many local residents for the better.
Proceeds from the auction will benefit 27 local organizations, which between them provide a wide range of vital services to our community.
The 27 organizations include the American Red Cross, Boy Scouts of America, Catholic Charities West Virginia, Energy Express (WVU Extension Office), Foster Grandparent Program, Girl Scouts Black Diamond Council, Helping Hand Clearinghouse, Elkins/Randolph County Library, Helvetia Library, Pioneer Library, Tygart Valley Library, Valley Head Library, Literacy Volunteers of West Virginia, Meals on Wheels, North Central Community Action (Homeless Shelter), Randolph County Cancer Support Group, Randolph County Children's Advocacy Center, Randolph County Domestic Training & Referral, Randolph County Emergency Squad, Randolph County Family Resource Network, Randolph County Humane Society, Randolph County Senior Center, Randolph County Sheltered Workshop (Seneca Designs), Senior Companion Program, Women's Aid In Crisis, Elkins-Randolph County YMCA and Youth Health Services.
The auction, which will feature many baskets, tickets, merchandise, gift certificates and hand-made items for sale, will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday at the First United Methodist Church in Elkins. The doors open at 9 a.m., and items on the buy-and-go tables will be for sale beginning at 9 a.m.
Come out and enjoy the auction. You'll have a good time, and you'll be doing your part - taking your place in the quilt, if you will - to help accomplish the United Way's mission.