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A way to say thanks

SPRING VALLEY — When Project Success Director Jan Martin was assembling photographs for this year’s Calendar of Giving, she came across a photo of Hall High School’s Power Mechanics Club.

Each year the club buys and assembles bicycles for Project’s Success’ toy drive, and Martin decided to feature last year’s photo of the club members on the November page.

“One of the young men, Blake, was here, and I said, ‘Oh Blake, look, I’m going to use your picture in the calendar, and he said, ‘Mrs. Martin, that’s Daniel, Daniel Lule,’” she said.

Lule was the Hall High School football player who died in August during football practice from an enlarged heart.

Martin was surprised.

“I had heard all about him, but I did not know him personally,” she said.

Martin said they contacted the Lule family, who said they would love to have his picture included in the calendar.

It’s people like Daniel who are featured in this year’s calendar.

Martin said she takes a lot of pictures of people who contributed to Project Success’ Hall Township Food Pantry, and she decided to feature them on next year’s calendar.

The calendar features photos of many generous people. There’s the Business Leads Team, which donated a pallet of Tender Mercies, enough for 6,000 meals.

There’s Luke Bogatitus, who asked for donations instead of presents for his sixth birthday, and the Rev. Kim Lee Brown, whose congregation at St. John’s Church on the Hill celebrated her birthday the same way. Don and Marlene Klug of Ladd also celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary by donating to the food pantry.

Also included are Spring Valley Mayor Cliff Banks with produce from the community garden, the Ladies Aid Society from Hollowayville and its school supplies, and the ladies of Spring Valley’s St. Anthony’s and Immaculate Conception churches, who collect toys and coats.

And there are the “grandmas” who live in the Stough Group housing. Martin said they collect food items once or twice a month during their bingo games, and they also collected baby supplies for the pantry.

“They like to still be able to give,” she said.

Martin said there needs to be an awareness in the community that the food pantry couldn’t help so many people without the community’s support.

“People like to be helpful,” she said. “By showing these pictures, I think it can give inspiration to other people and will foster new ideas of ways they can give, too.”

People have so many of their own troubles, but Martin said she received some good advice on the topic from the Rev. Patrick Fixsen.

“One time Father Patrick said to me, ‘To help yourself, you have to help others,’ and I think that’s very true,” she said. “If they have an incentive, something they can work toward, it makes them feel better, too.”

Comment on this story at www.bcrnews.com.

Want one of the calendars?

Calendars of Giving are available at the Hall Township Food Pantry at 500 N. Terry St. in Spring Valley, or by calling Martin at 815-663-2085. The calendars are $10, and all profits go to the food pantry.

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