Generosity abounds in Chester County

Recently, Forbes released its list of America’s best places to raise a family, and Chester County placed eighth. And according to real estate company Movoto, Chester County is the fourth best place in America to live. Indeed, Chester County is the 24th wealthiest county in the nation, according to Forbes, with a median annual household income of $84,741.

But those statistics mean nothing to the Morales family. They live in a trailer in New Garden Township, they rely on the Kennett Food Cupboard to put food on the table, they rely on Kennett Area Services to aid with rental assistance and they have a child with health issues.

The Morales family are among the 6 percent of the county’s population who live in poverty. Often, when any kind of a life-changing event takes place for this segment of the population, consequences are dire.

That life-changing event took place last week for the Morales family. The van, which was used to transport their child to medical appointments every week, broke down. Even Jose Morales, who has stomach cancer, uses it to get back and forth to the hospital.

Then an amazing thing happened. Nick O’Neill, a member of the Longwood Rotary Club, donated the car his son had won years earlier at the Unionville Prom. But it needed work, about $1,000 in parts alone. After hearing of the situation, J&G Automotive in Kennett Square donated the labor, and the Longwood Rotary Club donated the money to fix the car. The Simpers Insurance Agency donated fees to transfer the title.

The story has a happy ending only because so many kind and generous people live among us. And we are blessed to have many service organizations which make our community a much better place to live. In this case, it was the Longwood Rotary Club, but the Lions Club, the Kiwanis, the volunteers who help at the Garage Youth Center and many others make a tremendous impact on our community.

Some people only ask “what’s in it for me?” These people don’t volunteer to help community organizations and don’t donate to charitable non-profits. If you’re one of these people, consider volunteering, or if you don’t have time, aiding nonprofits financially. Rotary’s motto is “Service Above Self,” and that motto is the reason members of this organizations — and other organizations like it — help us live in the fourth best place in America.

The Morales family found out how compassionate our community is following a disaster. Let’s not wait for the next disaster. Help out now. It’s as simple as tossing a coin in the Salvation Army bucket, or volunteering at a local non-profit.

Perhaps the giving nature of the people — and civic organizations — who live here is a big reason Chester County is one of the best places to raise a family.

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