Written by Joe Pitts
Mayor of Clarksville
Clarksville, TN – I have been deeply blessed by my loving and giving parents. My dad, who passed in 2018, and my mother, who is still alive and kicking, were always very generous and never ignored a need around them.
For example, as a kid growing up on Peachers Mill Road, I remember one Christmas season when a single mother of six children lived nearby in a substandard house near the railroad tracks. This family had less than they needed, and no Christmas was planned.
My dad got word of the family’s plight, and immediately reached out to his Sunday School class and others. Before you knew it, that family had gifts for each member of the family and more than enough food to last through New Year’s.
I remember the tears in his eyes as my dad left that home after dropping off another load of gifts. He was emotional because he remembered his hardscrabble life growing up on the farm. Christmas in his boyhood was an orange, an apple and a piece of hard candy.
That’s just how my family was wired. See a need. Meet a need. No judgement. No hesitation. Just jump in and help a family in need.
Cynthia and I have tried to live by that fine example. That’s why we volunteer at the Warm Souls event on Christmas Eve, hosted by Radical Mission. That’s why we’ve devoted ourselves to serving this community. Not for glory but to meet a need.
So I give thanks for the vast number of Clarksville citizens who learned these same lessons from their faithful and hardworking parents and forebears. These are the citizens who jump in when the call goes out for help; who organize events like Warm Souls and the great number of other holiday food and toy drives. They are our good neighbors who run our community’s social service efforts throughout the year — every year. These are the good folks who make us a great community!
Cynthia and I thank God for all of you and we wish for you and yours the most joyous Christmas and a Happy New Year.