OPINION COLUMNS

On Wednesday morning, a change was coming. We knew it. Circled on the calendar, a presidential inauguration happens every four years, like clockwork, sometimes switching out political parties and men. Older men. Older white men, until Barack Obama was twice elected.

Each year before West Virginia lawmakers begin their 60-day session, Beckley-Raleigh County Chamber of Commerce (BRCCC) presents position statements that reflect the voice of our local business community to our legislators.  Read more

The United Way of Southern West Virginia is known as our community’s "resource of resources" because we connect people. We connect donors with opportunities, agencies with advocacy, volunteers with prospects, and we do so through the caring power of southern West Virginia. We are incredibly … Read more

It was afternoon and I had just gotten off the school bus. I found myself sitting on the familiar cream-colored carpet of my grandparents’ living room. I don’t remember what we were talking about, but I mentioned that I wanted to be a lawyer. Not that I knew much of anything that might prove… Read more

At United Way of Southern West Virginia, we believe that health, education, and financial stability are the building blocks for a good quality of life. Our mission is to improve the lives of all residents of our service area by focusing on these building blocks and mobilizing the caring powe… Read more

In school, history was one of my favorite subjects. I would become entangled in the stories and read ahead and reread infamous stories like the Boston Tea Party. Some might call it ethnocentric. My friends thought it obsessive. It didn’t matter. I could’ve read it like a novel. I was obsesse… Read more

We are at a tipping point. Covid-19 infection rates and hospitalizations continue to climb. Our cumulative positive rate is now above 5 percent. As of Thursday, 1,518 West Virginians have died. The entire state is a sea of “red” on the DHHR map, showing high infection rates and daily percent… Read more

Technology has given us access to multiple outlets for entertainment, and subscription services are available for all types of movies, series, and original content. Club and gym memberships as well as food and grocery delivery services offer monthly payment options as well. These options pro… Read more

At the gas station, masks were on and everyone was standing on the red distance stickers placed on the floor. Some chatter was happening at the register, something about “It’ll be OK! I just wanted you to know.”  Then, as everyone was waiting to pay for their gas, a bell on the door rang. A … Read more

Most often when the end of a year approaches, we take stock of what we have accomplished, consider the things we wish we had done differently, and look forward to the next year with hope, planning to make better choices, to improve ourselves through lifestyle changes, and a commitment to lea… Read more

Maybe it’s the giddiness of Christmas morning. The tired smiles that couldn’t sleep even when counting reindeer. The crumbs of the cookies resting on the table that escaped the plate. The “Santa has the same wrapping paper as we do!” Or even the beautiful gullibility of being told that magic… Read more

For some reason, West Virginia government does not seem to get along well with the high-tech world. Remember “Routergate?” How about the emergency radio tower scandal in 2013-14? Read more

First designated as a National River in 1978, the New River Gorge is composed of approximately 72,000 acres of land along 53 miles of one of the world’s oldest rivers – the New River – stretching from Bluestone Dam to Hawk’s Nest Lake. More importantly, it is home to hiking trails, globally-… Read more

2020 has brought many unforeseen challenges that have defied the limits of what we could have predicted at this time last year. We have all adapted to these challenges and continue to hope for solutions and relief, looking to the future with hope for a return to the normalcy of the past. We … Read more

At United Way of Southern West Virginia, we make connections among donors, volunteers, advocates and partners to improve the lives of everyone in our service area. We accomplish this by focusing on the building blocks for a good quality of life: health, education and financial stability. The… Read more

Back in high school, I was around a lot of kids whom society at large cast as delinquents. Not that they were an offender or lawbreaker, mind you, though that’s what people thought their future held. Not because of who they were, their hobbies or whom they hung out with, but because of what … Read more

United Way of Southern West Virginia serves an engaged community that is compassionate and adaptable. Similar to communities around the nation, there are families who find themselves in need for many different reasons and at all times throughout the year. Winter in West Virginia can be espec… Read more

The mission of United Way is to advance the greater good by focusing on the building blocks for quality of life: health, education, and financial stability. We do this in partnership with donors, volunteers, and advocates, by creating opportunities for our partners to make an impact in these… Read more

The pandemic has strained business owners, employees, and customers alike, making “doing business as usual” a challenge. In response, the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office seeks to assist in any way possible, and we remain committed to serving businesses throughout our state. Read more

Dear teachers, those I’ve had and haven’t, I’m so sorry. I’m sorry for all the questions you have to answer multiple times. I’m sorry for all the sighs when something isn’t graded within five seconds. I have done all these things. And now, I think I finally understand at least a pocket amoun… Read more

It’s the time of year for college students across the country to enroll for spring semester classes. How many parents and students are rethinking the decision to attend college away from home amid the pandemic?    Read more

At WVU, they kindly and subliminally note that their apartments are for freshmen and first-year students. In their defense, I suppose it’s because they want to have enough room to fit all of the incoming students into dorms – and, yes, it’s money in their pocket. Read more

Social media used to be used for fun. Now, the creators are trying to act like vigilantes that fight against false information spread on the web. It might sound heroic, but it’s all behind a screen and not that exciting. Welcome to the age of fake news.  Read more

Beckley Area Foundation (BAF) is currently celebrating its 35th year since their inception in 1985. What started as a gift of $1.1 million from the Dr. Thomas Walker Memorial Health Foundation has grown to more than $46 million in over 490 different endowed funds managed by their three trust… Read more

The 12th annual United Way of Southern West Virginia Wonderland of Trees opened on Friday, Nov. 6, at the Summit Bechtel Reserve J.W. Marriott Jr. Leadership Center. We at United Way are thrilled to partner with the Summit to provide this holiday tradition. The Wonderland of Trees is one of … Read more

Everything taxes our patience in 2020. In fact, the year has become its own “thing.” No matter what negativity is visited upon us, it’s deserving of an eye roll, subtle head shake and utterance of a knowing “2020.” Read more

The mission of the United Way of Southern West Virginia is to improve lives in our service area by focusing on the building blocks for a good quality of life: health, education and financial stability.We accomplish this by identifying the needs of our community and forming partnerships to ad… Read more

When stories are written about Appalachia, they seem to always end with a “victor” who had escaped from the empty coal taverns and the hollows flooded with pill bottles. Sometimes the “victor” was never even from the mountains but seemed to land here for a few years of their childhood. But, … Read more

While West Virginians are dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic and trying to figure out if their kids can attend school, the oil and gas industry is working with the West Virginia State Tax Department to cut its property taxes by as much as $62 million per year. Last month, the state tax depar… Read more

As one may have predicted four years ago, the final weeks of the 2020 U.S. presidential campaign have unfolded amid a flurry of accusations about a hostile power undermining American democracy. What one was less likely to predict was that this nemesis would be not Russia but Silicon Valley. Read more

At United Way of Southern West Virginia, every dollar counts. Every dollar raised through workplace giving, direct donations and fundraising events is compounded to make a significant difference to our agency partners and direct programs like the Equal Footing Shoe Fund, our Handle With Care… Read more

Yesterday, I ran out of class, carefully hopped down the stairs and went into the parking garage where I could drive back home and get a presentation ready for another class that was in two hours. When I saw the car, I pulled off my mask and took a deep breath. Read more

There are hundreds of ways that United Way of Southern West Virginia makes connections in our area. United Way offers fundraising power to our partner agencies, promotes charitable giving, identifies local needs and connects resources to that need, all while promoting better health, educatio… Read more

There is a popular petition going around the nation that involves a person we all know. Someone online has even deemed her as the “Jesus of Appalachia.” It’s the one and only Dolly Parton – founder of Dollywood who just happens to sing a little. Read more

October is known for election year surprises. In 1980 there was the Ronald Reagan deal when Iran announced over 50 American hostages in Tehran would not be released until after the U.S. election, thereby sinking incumbent Jimmy Carter’s re-election. In 1986, there was the October Surprise wh… Read more

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