Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

UP: To those organizing the many charitable efforts, such as the Salvation Army Kettle Campaign, Toys for Tots, Coats for Kids, and many more, that give the rest of us an opportunity to share our blessings with those in need. It is no small task to organize these efforts, and we are grateful for their work, and for the chance to give.

UP: To work by the Appalachian Service Project, which resulted has resulted in more than 50 families receiving home repairs — or entirely new homes — after flooding in 2016 devastated several West Virginia counties. One woman described walking into her own home again after having lived for more than a year in a single-bedroom apartment and Federal Emergency Management Agency trailer. “I could not be more appreciative. I’m afraid I might cry.” Thank goodness for the folks who work for organizations such as the ASP.

DOWN: To a report out of Ohio that suggests the Buckeye State could see a 70 percent increase in drug deaths by 2025. Deaths from drugs, alcohol and suicide combined are expected to increase 47 percent during that time. As John Auerbach, president and CEO of the report’s author, Trust for America’s Health, put it “It’s time for a paradigm shift.” Our region has too much to look forward to, for such a prediction to be allowed to come to fruition.