POMEROY — Members of Meigs Emergency Medical Services delivered coats, gloves and many gift-wrapped packages to Meigs Jobs and Family Services on Monday.
The idea of donating during the holidays was formed three years ago by EMT Sandi Smith and former EMS Capt. Eric Rock.
Smith said she saw an opportunity to give back by providing coats and gifts to families in need. Partnering with Jobs and Family Services allowed their donations to go directly to the community.
“We see people on their worst days,” she said. “We are out there and see the needs in the community and we like to give back. We are glad that we can do something like this for our community.”
According to Smith, it is a group effort that began with the EMS employees making the all the donations themselves the first year. The second year, letters were sent to the community asking for support.
This year, letters were again sent with positive responses from Hoon Inc. Farmers Bank, MedFlight, HealthNet, McDonald’s, Columbia Fire Department, Pomeroy Firemen’s Association and Meigs County Firefighters Association.
In addition, a raffle was conducted and a Yeti cooler donated by Eric Rock Powerwash and Superior Autobody brought in additional funds.
“Each year, the donations have grown and we have been able to purchase more coats and gifts,” EMS administrative assistant Amanda Stanley said.
Sandi Smith, Terri Jacks, Wilma Davidson and Amanda Stanley volunteered to shop. Terri Jacks, wife of Director Robert Jacks, is the only non-EMS volunteer of the group. Working in conjunction with Kmart in Gallipolis, they were given a charity discount for items purchased at that store. Walmart in Mason gave a donation to the cause.
With shopping complete, Davidson agreed to head up the challenge of wrapping and bagging the gifts.
Now it was time to deliver the donations and Terri Ingles from Jobs and Family Services greeted the group as they unloaded. The next step is to distribute the coats and gifts to those she had identified as in need of assistance.
The mission statement of the Meigs County EMS is to provide high-quality emergency medical care to communities within Meigs County and throughout southeastern Ohio, through the delivery of compassionate, courteous, and professional treatment of those placed in their care.
According to EMS Director Jacks, that caring attitude doesn’t stop when the group is off duty.
“Meigs County is blessed with EMT’s, paramedic and dispatchers that genuinely care for the well-being of the citizens they serve whether on or off duty,” he said. “They go above and beyond their regular duties on a daily basis to make this county better. I am especially thankful for EMT Smith’s leadership in the project. She has improved this program every year and is impacting a lot of young lives.”
The recipients will never know where the gifts came from, but the members of the EMS team are satisfied with the knowledge that their contributions to the community will be felt during the Christmas season and beyond.
Contact Lorna Hart at 740-992-2155, ext. 2551.