Information Helpline Connects people to correct agencies

WHEELING — Information Helpline in Wheeling connects people in need with agencies that can help, offering hope in times of crisis.

One special family that the agency has assisted over the years is Lacie Wallace’s family. She was a 33-year old mother rearing a 13-year-old daughter and a 3-year-old daughter.

Wallace put herself through school to become a teacher while working multiple jobs over the years.

Two years ago, she was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer.

During that time, she continued to work, care for her girls, receive cancer treatments at Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown and produce beautiful paintings to prepare for a much-anticipated art show at West Virginia University in October. Sadly, Wallace lost her battle to cancer a week before her big art show in Morgantown.

“We are working with Lacie’s husband and parents to remain involved in her daughters’ lives,” said Angela Goodson, Information Helpline executive director. “We promised Lacie that we would be here to help.

“Because she was so special to us, we have decided to launch a new program within our agency called Lacie’s Legacy. Information Helpline is accepting donations and looking for funding for the program, so we can offer special individualized services to women suffering from illnesses,” Goodson said.

She explained, “We will look at each case and determine what some of those special needs might be. They could be anything from child care services to rides to the hospital to delivering toiletries to the house. We will continue to collaborate with all area agencies to ensure that sick women have the support they need to ease the burden of their treatment and recovery process.”

When the health care clinic at Tunnel Ridge Coal Mine heard Wallace’s story, they quickly jumped in to help make her young daughters’ Christmas extra special this year. “The staff at the Tunnel Ridge Health Center has been amazing. I call the wonderful staff and nurses at the clinic ‘Coal Angels,'” Goodson said.

“We have reached out to employees and vendors to take care of Lacie’s family this Christmas. Her story touched everyone so much that the response has been amazing,” said Hermity Van Laar, family nurse practitioner at the Tunnel Ridge Health Center.

Van Laar said, “Angie (Goodson) has arranged for our staff to meet Lacie’s daughters, Rozzi and Zuzu. We just want to tell them how special they are, and that we are here for them. We have been working with Information Helpline for several years now especially at Christmastime. We hope that we have been able to play just a small part in making Rozzi and Zuzu’s holiday a little extra joyful this year.”

Goodson added, “With a touch of sadness, Information Helpline is honored to make Lacie’s Legacy a reality. Lacie was such a grateful, giving, creative person. We know that she would be thrilled to help other women in their time of need. Lacie was the kind of person that left a mark on my soul.”

For more information or to make a donation to Lacie’s Legacy, call Information Helpline at 304-233-6300 or send an email message to Goodson at agoodson@informationhelpline.org.

For more than 35 years, Information Helpline has been a conduit for local, state and national resources and the Ohio Valley residents who need to access them. It serves Brooke, Ohio, Marshall and Wetzel counties in West Virginia and Belmont and Monroe counties in Ohio.

Information Helpline served more than 7,000 individuals last year. Information Helpline is one of the 31 member agencies of the United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley; it provides referrals to all agencies in its service area. One of Information Helpline’s primary objectives is to provide emergency financial assistance and crisis stabilization to individuals and families.