Love is in the air

February 3, 2021

By Julie Capaldi, President, United Way of Pickens County


I am so tired of COVID-19 and the misery and sadness that it has brought to people I love. OVER IT. February is Valentine’s Day month and I vow to be a huge bundle of sweetness and love, starting with this article!

We all need a happy ending…especially right this minute. Do you ever read stories and wonder, “What happened to this person?”

Here’s your very own happy ending!

In December, I shared a Christmas miracle about a generous donor, a hard working young man, and a blue bicycle. The donor had offered to help purchase a car for the young man who was biking to work because he had no other transportation.

Unbeknownst to me, the donor had been scouring the internet for used cars with no luck finding a good car. One afternoon, I received an email with a photo of a great car, but way out of the price range. The next day, the donor called me and said he was test-driving the car and offered to make up the difference.

Someone else even stepped up to cover six months of car insurance. How great is that?

To say that the young man was over the moon was an understatement. He was so incredibly grateful. The only dream he had was that he would love a silver car…his favorite color. Imagine his delight, when the car turned out to be a silver Ford Fiesta with a hatchback. Benson Ford in Easley worked hard to get a good price. It was a true community effort.

Here’s some more happy ending happiness for you. I’ve spent so many months begging for COVID-19 Recovery funding to help our neighbors dealing with the impact of a pandemic. This month I want to share how these donations helped two women in desperate need.

This is the tale of two women, Mrs. Smith and Mrs. Jones (I made up those names).

Mrs. Smith is a widow with multiple sclerosis. She has been unable to work. Her power was disconnected, and with the Christmas forecast predicted to be frigid, she feared she would freeze to death.

Without hesitation and because of THE GENEROSITY OF THIS COMMUNITY, we had the funding to pay her power bill. She was warm and safe this Christmas thanks to gifts to the COVID-19 Recovery Fund.

Mrs. Jones situation was a little different. She was a referral from Meals On Wheels, another program supported through the COVID-19 Recovery Fund. Mrs. Jones had NO heat, not because of the inability to pay, but because her furnace needed a blower.

Once again, the generosity of this community made it possible for us to repair her furnace.

Both of these lovely women are safe and warm to this day, because of you. There really are no words to express how much we appreciate you.

Love is in the air. I’m not speaking of the rom-com love that you see in movies. I’m speaking of the love that knows no boundaries. It’s the kind of love that says, “I’m determined to touch the life of a stranger, because they need help.” This is the kind of love that literally keeps people alive.

You can love on your neighbors in need by donation to the COVID Recovery Fund at



This editorial first appeared in the Sentinel Progress on February 3, 2021.