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A helping hand

A group of caring individuals known for helping others in our region has done it again.

Members of VFW Post 626 in Bellaire, headed by Martins Ferry resident Terry Wildman, do a lot for the people of Eastern Ohio. One of their favorite causes is education, and they work to support young people by providing scholarships to seniors at local high schools each year.

But those VFW members also find ways to step in when they see a need that isn’t being met. That’s what they did last week, when they donated funds to a man who was displaced from his home through no fault of his own.

Vietnam War veteran John Burch lived on North Eighth Street in Martins Ferry. Last August, that street began to slip. At first, the damage was contained to the roadway and the infrastructure beneath it.

The slipping did not stop in August, though. By September, homes around the collapsing area began to show signs of damage.

Later that month, city leaders were forced to ask Burch to leave his home for safety reasons.

The situation continues to worsen as time passes. The problem has now damaged an alleyway below the street, as well as the water and sewerage systems in that area. The city has secured about $300,000 in grants to help pay for the repair, but the work is expected to cost more than twice that amount.

Burch, meanwhile, has found another place to live. That is good news, but he certainly is facing unexpected expenses and other challenges.

To help him with the cost of rent and living expenses, Bellaire VFW Post 626 donated $1,500 to him on Friday. Wildman said his organization will continue to “watch and monitor” Burch to see if he needs any more help in the future.

“This will help out very much, because my rent is $500 a month. I appreciate the VFW very much,” Burch said.

We also appreciate VFW Post 626 and all that its members do for the community. We urge members to continue their good works, and we encourage the public to support the organization at every opportunity.

To learn how you can get involved and help the VFW help others, call 740-676-9017.

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