Firing up for Skillet christmas fund drive

No one has ever become poor by giving.

&045;Anne Frank

Cooler temperatures and falling leaves are recent signs the seasons are changing. Seems the pace of life quickens as we near the end of a year and begin looking forward to Halloween costumes, Thanksgiving feasts and the celebration of Christmas.

The latter, while still more than two months away, catches the most attention, as families begin making plans for trips to see loved ones, sparkling Christmas trees and shopping lists set to get just the right gifts under that tree.

For too many of our neighbors, the Christmas season can be one of heartache and disappointment. Nothing stings a parent like the fear of an absent, Santa stemming from tight budgets and hard times.

The late Milton Bird knew what hard times felt like, and he spent the better part of a century trying to make life a little brighter for his fellow man.

Known to the readers of this newspaper and the hundreds of people he helped as &8220;Skillet,&8221; perhaps Bird&8217;s most positive contribution to the county he loved was his instrumental work to create a Christmas fund for needy children in Shelby County.

That fund, now known as the Skillet Bird Children&8217;s Fund, is still carried forward today by members of the Columbiana United Methodist Church Luther Fowler Sunday school class with leadership from Holli Argo.

Despite our reputation as a wealthy, giving county, there are those among us who need a hand this time of year and there are those of us who can give more than we have in the past.

During the early days of the fund drive, Skillet could often be seen, red bucket in hand, collecting donations which would pay for Christmas gifts for needy children in the area.

Now it&8217;s our turn to lend a hand and carry forth Skillet&8217;s work by contributing to this worthwhile cause.

For more information on how you and your family can help make Christmas a little brighter for those in need, please contact the Columbiana United Methodist Church at:

Columbiana United Methodist Church at 200 North Main St., Columbiana, Ala. 35051 or by calling 669-7164.