A little giving goes a long way

MARTINS FERRY — Deep Run resident Ruth Knutsen recently was moved to tears by the kindness of a group of Martins Ferry third-graders.

Knutsen has long worked in the banking industry and has been an avid volunteer her entire life. She currently works as a personal banker for Unified Bank in St. Clairsville, where she also serves as a volunteer member of the St. Clairsville Noon Rotary. This branch of the Rotary was chartered May 12,1930, and remains very active in the Eastern Ohio community today.

The Noon Rotary conducts an annual dictionary project wherein it provides every third-grader in Belmont County with their very own dictionary in the hope of spurring a life of discovery and inquisitiveness. According to Knutsen, the dictionaries not only provide word definitions, but they also contain facts on plants and animals, state capitals, the Braille alphabet, the periodic table of elements and charts of the planets. Knutsen recently volunteered to help distribute her first 130 dictionaries to a group of third-graders at Ayers Elementary in Martins Ferry.

“The outpouring of excitement and appreciation while we were handing out the dictionaries was almost more than I could handle,” Knutsen said. “The children absolutely loved having their own copy, and several made this known to me.”

Fast forward to a couple days later. Knutsen was sitting in her Unified Bank office when a stack of mail was delivered. Included in that stack was a package filled with handmade, hand decorated and personalized thank-you cards from the children of Ayers Elementary.

“I was moved to tears by the lovely comments from the children,” Knutsen said.

Unified Bank president and CEO, Scott Everson said, “We are so proud to have Ruth working with us. As part of our Unified vision, we strive to create better lives and futures for the people and communities that we serve. Ruth exemplifies the Unified vision in her every day — this type of genuine kindness and giving is what we look for in all our team members.”

Unified Bank is a full-service FDIC-insured, state-chartered commercial bank headquartered in Martins Ferry with 19 locations and a loan production office in Wheeling.


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