Money isn't always the driving force behind what people do for others. Every now and then we come across a for-profit business that takes the time and makes room in their operations to help those that need help. "Cleaning for a Reason" is just such an organization - or better put, perhaps, a group of organizations offering help to others. A lot of folks already know about the service, but for those who might not, here's what I'm talking about.
Cleaning for a Reason is a foundation that partners with professional residential maid services that are insured and bonded to perform free once-a-month home cleaning services for women who are living with or undergoing treatment for cancer of any type. Each company that participates with the foundation has to agree to take two patients at a time and offer four free general cleanings - one a month for four months.
In order to see if the service is available, women cancer patients need to go to the foundation's website www.cleaningforareason.org to see if there is a participating service in the patient's home area.
If the patient is easily confused by trying to navigate website, they might want to have a family member help them with the process of learning if the service is available in their area. Not that the site is all that complicated; it does, however, require some navigation through the different menus to get what one is looking for such as whether or not the patient qualifies or if the service is available in that geographic area. According to the website's information, not all areas are served but they are adding 25 to 35 new partners each month.
For information regarding availability, eligibility and necessary steps to obtain the service, visit the website mentioned above.
We are being told that the recession is over. Eight percent of the West Virginia workforce would disagree with that statement and I, for one, agree with them. There probably aren't many of the unemployed who care all they want is a job. I suspect that there is a considerable number of the underemployed and unemployed that would like to know how the mess we're in came about and who is responsible for the financial crises we've experienced for the last nearly three years. A couple of business and economics books that explain the issues have just been released.
Billed in the Nov. 22 issue of Time magazine as "The 30-year history of the 2007-2009 financial crisis" and "How Wall Street fed the sleazy subprime-mortgage industry" the two books go into great depth to explain how and why we experienced such a devastating world economic crisis.
"All the Devils are Here - The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis" written by Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera (Portfoilio/Penguin; 380 pages) "is," to quote Time, "a reconstruction of the 30 years that culminated in the "Great Recession," years in which Wall Street's relentless greed and Washington's delusional regulators jointly built a time bomb and thwarted any attempt to disarm it."
According to Time, the authors are more than expertly qualified to write the book. Nocera, a New York Times columnist, "can take apart business as well as anyone," said Bill Saffortto, who wrote the review.
The other book that's receiving much acclaim is titled "The Monster: How a Gang of Predatory Lenders and Wall Street Bankers Fleeced America - and Spawned a Global Crisis" by Michael W. Hudson (Times Books; 365 pages). Andrea Sachs, who wrote the review of this timely addition to the many other books dealing with the crisis said, "Of all the rapacious and repulsive players in the financial meltdown, none were more rapacious and repulsive than subprime mortgage lenders." Sachs went on to say, "According to Michael Hudson, clinging to the bottom of that cesspool was Ameriquest Mortgage." Quoted from one of Ameriquest's manager's emails, "We are here to make as much (expletive deleted) money as possible. Bottom line. Nothing else matters."
According to the review, the book zeroes in on the relationship Ameriquest had with Lehman Brothers - the biggest subprime enabler of all and many of the other culprits that helped create the crisis.
It sounds as though both books are a good and informative read. They are available through Mainline Books at 301 Davis Avenue. If they are not in stock, the Manager, Vickie Roidt, said she would order them.
If you run out of something to do today, or even if you have a busy schedule, take time to stop by and enjoy the Holiday Open House at Artists at Work located at 329 Davis Ave. in our lovely city of Elkins. Activities will begin at 11 a.m. and end around 5 p.m.
They have a large selection of unique Christmas gifts in fine art, folk art, handcrafts all at affordable prices. What better opportunity to shop for Christmas gifts and enjoy the opportunity to win one of the hourly door prizes, enjoy live music, refreshments and meet the artists. Entertainment will be provided by Caleb Karriker, Matthew Taylor on the great Highland bagpipe and Jane Birdsong.
In this column on Sep. 2, I mentioned that Johnnie Cochran, former American Mountain Theater fiddle player and now leader of the "Johnnie Cochran and the Trail Blazers Band" who perform at the Orange Blossom Trails Music Hall in Lost Creek, was in Nashville competing in the world Grand Master's Fiddle Championship during the last week of September.
Unfortunately, as we all had hoped, Cochran wasn't named as one of the top three world fiddle players but he was in the top 10. While we all would have liked for him to win we are happy that he ranked so high in the competition - tenth in the world isn't bad at all. Congratulations Johnnie - you are our winner.
On Oct. 23 Nina Sharp and Rocky Hebb participated in the Northeastern Region Colgate Country Showdown competition in Marietta, Ohio. They were the first ever to compete against each other as a married couple. To everyone's disappointment, and theirs too of course, they didn't win but they came close.
I didn't have a chance to talk to Hebb before going to press but I did talk to Sharp and she said, "Yes, I'm biased, I know, but by every right Rocky should have won. He received a far better crowd response than any of his competitors. Everyone I talked to was stunned that he didn't win.
"I wanted to win too and received a great response from the crowd, but Rocky did a far better job than I did. I had, I'm sorry to say, an off-day that day. It was one of those days when I just couldn't get things to come together like I wanted them too. It was a great experience, though," Sharp said. "We aren't sure whether we'll participate again. We'll just have to wait and see were we are when the next competitions roll around."
Congratulations to you both - you, too, are our number one.
Their new CD containing 14 songs, all of which they co-wrote, is available at Sharp's Jewelry located at 532 Beverly Pike (better known as the Elkins five-lane).