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Local Woman Battles Pandemic With Generosity

The West Virginia Daily News
The West Virginia Daily News
 2021-03-05

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Jonathan Edwards once wrote, “Grace is but glory begun, and glory is but grace perfected”.

Post hoc, ergo, propter hoc...after this, therefore because of this.

Are these two things the same?

Well, to answer that question, we must first develop a better understanding of just who Jennifer Mason is.

Born in Alderson, Mason is a resident of the city of Lewisburg.

On March 21, 2020, Mason created the Facebook Group “Greenbrier County Businesses.”

The description of the group reads, “With the coronavirus social distancing mandate, local businesses are suffering. The intent of this site is to help those businesses survive and our neighbors to remain employed. We can do this together.”

It began with a simple message…

“Let’s help each other. [] Let’s all work together to support our local business.”

Mason has done not only that, but so much more.

Throughout the pandemic, Mason has raised funds and coordinated the efforts of numerous volunteers to maintain the “Feeding Seniors” program across the Greenbrier Valley.

Through the program, hot meals were delivered to seniors and shut-ins across the county who were otherwise unable to leave their homes. Several White Sulphur Springs businesses, such as April’s Pizzeria, and 50 East Restaurant and Tavern, who donated a large amount of food, were instrumental to the early success of the program.

“I’m constantly amazed by this community,” Mason said of White Sulphur Springs. “I really believe it was a gift from God that allowed this community to come together the way it did.”

Mason also credited the co-owners of Road Hog’s Barbeque, and two of White Sulphur Springs’ resident “better angels” Clay Elkins and David Bostic with “helping to bring White Sulphur Springs together.”

Mason told the West Virginia Daily News that, when it came to the home delivery of hot meals, “we also found it helped reduce the feeling of isolation. Some of these people hadn’t had any visitors to their home in a year or more.”

However, Mason was not satisfied with simply delivering hot meals.

In an April 10, 2020 post on Greenbrier County Business’ Facebook page, it was announced that “Feeding Seniors, in partnership with IGA and Community Action, will begin taking shopping orders for seniors, doing the shopping and delivering the groceries ourselves.”

After this, therefore because of this.

By mid-July, Feeding Seniors had fed more than 700-people multiple times per week, for eight consecutive weeks. At the same time, the program helped numerous area businesses keep their doors open. The program supported local farmers and helped deliver produce to 380-families and food banks.

In two months, and with the support of the community, the program raised $85,000 for those who needed it most. However, this should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the Greenbrier Valley. To borrow a concept from President Franklin Roosevelt, when a neighbor’s house is on fire, our communities don’t haggle over the price of their garden hoses, they just get to work putting out the flames.

“I am proud of our community!” Mason said at the time. “We had hundreds of volunteers, hundreds of donors and hundreds of people we helped. These volunteers, donors and people we helped were from the entire county. I’m no longer of a mindset to call it the East and West sides. We are one group of people who take care of each other.”

Glory begun...grace perfected.

Currently, Mason is working on a project to provide meals for the workers and volunteers of the area’s COVID-19 vaccination clinics.

“I don’t want to take the credit there,” Mason said. “We’re just helping out, this is all the health department. They’re great!”

In a social media post dated Friday, Feb. 26, Mason offered praise to those who are helping with the program, saying, “Thank you so much to Stardust (Café, Lewisburg) and the anonymous donor for supplying lunch to the COVID vaccine clinic volunteers this week! Watch for upcoming information regarding all of the amazing donors of this program!”

In keeping with the policy of the West Virginia Daily News, we will protect the area’s superheroes (anonymous donors) by not disclosing their secret identities.

True to form, Mason did not wait long to make good on her promise of praising additional donors.

In yet another social media post just one day later, Mason said, “I am endlessly amazed at the generosity of our community. This is a BIG shout out to the following individuals and organizations for their donations to help feed the vaccine clinic workers at the fairgrounds:

• Steve and Dede Talbot - Greenbrier Automotive Group.

• Cindy and Mark Bowe

• David Bostic and Clay Elkins - Road Hog’s BBQ

• The Greenbrier

• The Sporting Club

• Old Stone Presbyterian

• Joan and Tom Elmore

• Linda Quillen

• Suzanne Criddle

• Cheryl Johnson Nutter

• Judith Lucas

Thank you so much for your commitment to the health of this community!”

Regarding Mason, Clay Elkins told the West Virginia Daily News, “A lot of people will say that they’re doing stuff. But when you see what Jennifer is doing, helping to connect the dots, it’s really inspiring. It really makes you want to get out there and get to work helping people. She’s using her networking skills to put people in touch with one another, and getting resources allocated to where they can do the most good. She’s really helping people.”

"I was immediately excited to be involved in Jennifer's efforts, and support her in them," David Bostic said. "She is unselfishly leading all of us to help others, and is creating another great example of the good we can do if we come together in a united charge for the betterment of everyone in our communities."

“Grace is but glory begun, and glory is but grace perfected.”

Post hoc, ergo, propter hoc...after this, therefore because of this.

Are these two things the same?

I don’t know. Jonathan Edwards lived and died 300-years ago, and I’m just a writer. Philosophy is better left to those emboldened by the clarity of righteousness.

But I do know this: the Greenbrier Valley is made stronger by the fact that Jennifer Mason is a part of it. Jennifer Mason is, in every measurable way, a better angel in our community. Jennifer Mason is grace perfected.

For those wishing to help with the current efforts to provide meals for vaccination clinic workers, donations are certainly welcome.

Checks should be made out to Bimbo Coles & Co. Project, Inc., and mailed to Jennifer Mason, 1194 Barkalin Lane, Lewisburg, WV 24901.

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