Businesses, organizations, volunteers make our community what it is

Published 9:13 am Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Charles Dickens is author of the famed “A Christmas Carol,” which is about a bitter old man who transforms his life for the better after being visited by the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present and Yet to Come and learns the significance of helping others. Dickens also wrote: “No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”
These words graciously reflect what the Elizabethton community is all about — businesses, who every day of the year give to the community and work hard at being the best they can be. It’s about people — students, such as those in the Bartleby Program at Elizabethton High, who see a future in Elizabethton and want to help shape its future; churches which project a positive influence and give direction to those who attend worship services each week.
There are countless men and women, businesses and organizations, who shape this community and make it what it is.
From the Merry Christmas greeting on Lynn Mountain each holiday season to the Christmas lights which decorate the downtown, from the community programs such as the theatrical performances at the historic Bonnie Kate, to the Isaiah 117 House, programs at the Elizabethton-Carter County Boys and Girls Club and Elizabethton-Carter County Public Library, there is something to be said about community goodwill.
The holiday season, which begins before Thanksgiving and extends until after the New Year, is really the most wonderful time of the year. However, Elizabethton businesses work hard all year to make every day the best — whether it be a chicken salad sandwich at City Market, a cup of freshly roasted coffee at the Coffee Company, gravy and biscuits at the Southern Cafe, or a little bit of “heat” in a dish at the Red Chili, the welcome sign is always out at local restaurants and downtown businesses.
These businesses are the doors to our community. And, then there are the men and women who make things happen, such as the staffs at the Chamber of Commerce and the Elizabethton Parks and Recreation Department, who spend countless hours planning a Christmas parade, a tree lighting, music and activities in the park. They are the people who open the doors to our community, and they are there every time an opportunity knocks.
Soon, the holiday season will be a part of the past, and we will move into a new year, but the Christmas season truly reflects what can be accomplished when people, businesses, school students, and organizations band together under the spirit of community and celebration. It’s what makes Elizabethton and Carter County unique. Not to mention the many volunteers and clubs who spend hours spreading goodwill all year long.
We are small, but we have done much. Opportunity continues to knock at our door, and we must grasp each new day as a beginning to build on successes of the past to make for a better tomorrow, not only for those who have done the building in the past, but for the leaders of the future. We are all building blocks in a unique community that is older than the state of Tennessee. We have much to capitalize on, opportunities to seize, and a new hope that comes with a new year.
As we go forward, we must remember the words of Dickens: “No one is useless in the world who lightens the burdens of another.” They are just as relevant today as they were when Mr. Dickens wrote them in the 1800s. When we lighten someone’s burden, we make life easier and better for them in some way, whether it be by doing a kind deed, serving a hearty meal, operating a business, or simply by being a volunteer or a public servant.

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