The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

September 12, 2013

Thank you

FAYETTEVILLE — The University of Charleston - Beckley rededicated its John W. Eye Conference Center Tuesday, giving deserved recognition to a family that has had a long-standing commitment of financial support to the school.

The Eye name is easily recognizable by nearly everyone in southern West Virginia for the furniture and appliance stores that for years supplied our homes with comfy couches and snugly beds.

But not everyone would be aware of what goes on behind the TV ads and super sales.

And so UC - Beckley President Jerry Forster sought to reaffirm the family’s importance to the school from its days as Beckley College and continuing to its latest incarnation.

During the ceremony, Forster said, “The family was very generous to supply the building. They’ve been very generous not only in educational endeavors, but with helping a whole host of faith-based organizations and civic groups.”

Forster says the college owes a good bit of its financial success to families like the Eyes.

Note that he said families, plural.

So many people give quietly and unselfishly to schools, charitable organizations, churches and a variety of other causes without the expectation of public acknowledgment.

Just knowing they have helped is often enough for them.

And you, like the Eye family, like so many others whose names we don’t know, can make a difference — no matter how much you give.

The United Way of Southern West Virginia is in the midst of its annual fundraising campaign, one with its highest goal ever. Even if you contribute $5, it will be joined by that amount many times over from others who give $5. The next thing you know, the goal of $525,000 is met.

The Beckley Area Foundation pools donations from thousands who give what they can. When that money is combined, BAF can make grants to worthy projects and award scholarships to students who need a way to finance their higher education.

And so it goes. These are but a few examples of the myriad organizations, schools and charities that can put to good use whatever amount you can spare.

To families like the Eyes, to other families who have given to keep our world turning and to John Q. Public — here’s to you, to your spirit of giving.

Bask proudly in the glow of philanthropy, publicly acknowledged or not.

You will know what you have done to make our world better.