Jones reflects on how community pulled together in 2020

| December 23, 2020

Liz Argyle is renovating the old Sue’s Hallmark building. (Jen Jones)

When I look back at all of the stories I’ve written this year, it’s hard to choose just a few favorites. There are so many I truly enjoyed doing and many that touched me. In a year when it seemed anything that could go wrong would, our community pulled together and showed what could happen when we worked together for the greater good.

Before we get to the serious, “feel-good” stories that I loved, for pure enjoyment’s sake and laughter, hands down, my favorite story of 2020 had to be watching donkey basketball in the Ridgewood Middle School gym. I really had no idea what to expect (and honestly, thought “donkey” might mean something other than an actual donkey!) and it was more than I could have imagined. I laughed until I cried watching the staff and students try to guide their donkeys. If this event happens again, do yourself a favor and go watch.
I also loved doing the series of Kids’ Corners. Playing in the paint with Emma and Carter and sharing the experiments of so many other local families was fun. We have so many involved parents in our community and I am truly thankful they shared their crafts and experiments with me.
When the pandemic hit, the community pulled together quickly to help those who needed help. Hopewell School organized a parade and food delivery. Other school districts arranged food and school supply deliveries. The community also came together to honor the graduating seniors who weren’t able to have the senior year they had been working so hard for. Parades and adopt a senior programs were just a few of the activities that happened.
Mercantile on Main and the Rose of Sharon Retreat worked together to get masks made for our local hospital and other health care workers to keep them safe when masks became scarce. This group of ladies organized a huge group of people who love to sew and made it safe to drop off completed masks to be delivered to those who needed them. Thousands of masks were made locally and I am so grateful for those who took the time to help others.
Wiley Organics stopped their usual production and instead, produced hand sanitizer that they donated to local places in need, such as the senior center.
I really enjoyed being at AlterCare when they held a parade for their residents to be able to see their families. The smiles on both the residents and the families were amazing and the delight of Bill, a resident, to see a fire truck in the parade made my day.
Planning ways for families to spend time together was fun for me and my children. We did the #spotcoshocton trail and explored local parks. The Fatherhood Initiative also created ways for dads to spend more time with their kids and maybe win a prize, too. Learning more about the Fatherhood Initiative and hearing the passion William Johnson has for the project was a blessing.
I was also lucky enough to be able to explore the old Sue’s Hallmark building with Liz Argyle as she started work on the remodel. Old buildings are amazing, and I can’t wait to see what it looks like when she is finished.
Doing interviews with the Coshocton County Handicapped Society and with Freedom Hunters inspired me to want to help both groups.
My favorite stories are the ones that show people working hard to make our community better. When the world seems to be falling apart, look locally and you will find hundreds of people working together to make Coshocton a safe, caring community to live in.
Editor’s note: This column was written by freelance writer Jen Jones.

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