Published On: Thu, Dec 26th, 2013

The Spirit of Christmas Thriving in Rainelle

Alden Flowers of Lewisburg

A little over a year ago tragedy struck the area with the loss of Jonathan Thomas from Rainelle, WV. Jonathan was a UPS driver in the Western Greenbrier, Nicholas, and Webster counties, but his influence did not end there. In addition to delivering packages with charm and a smile he had a secret. Jonathan

enjoyed acts of charity and he enjoyed doing them anonymously.

It is amazing to think that over 1500 people attended

his funeral services given the population of the area and even more amazing to know the majority of them had no idea how charitable he was. Whether small acts of charity or secretly adopting

a family for Christmas, Jonathan looked out for his common man. Soon after his passing, stories of his generous acts begin to surface.

Last Christmas Rainelle Medical Center (RMC) organized a Christmas

event to benefit local

children in need. They sponsored a present drive and organized an event. Both were succesful. At the conclusion, the event was dedicated in memory of Jonathan Thomas. This dedication was met with a standing ovation that has led to so much more.

This year as the tight-knit community of Rainelle began to make their Christmas preparations,

RMC announced they would once again host a Christmas event for children

in need. This year, the event is known as The Rainelle Medical Center Jonathan Thomas Christmas

Event. The outpouring of support is overwhelming. Officals at RMC are amazed by the awe-inspiring number

of donations that have come from within the community

alone, but the giving

has not stopped there.

Upon hearing of this event, UPS stepped in and volunteered to make this year’s event extra special. UPS has donated the man-hours, gasoline, and the use of the Official Nascar Special Delivery Truck that has been renamed “The Jonathan Thomas Christmas

Toy Express”.

The vehicle has been donated for the span of the event and most importantly to pick-up presents to bring to RMC from The Greenbrier.

Hotel’s “Create a Dream Tree for Kids.” In continuance of the outpouring of charity, James Quesenberry with Toys for Tots out of Beckley has also been extremely generous in making sure that the event will be a rousing success. RMC has also requested that we pay special thanks to the Town of Rainelle and Police Chief J. P. Stevens for their continued efforts in making this an event to remember.

The by invitation event will be held over a 3 day period over the weekend where families will bring their children into a winter carnival atmosphere.

Times for the event are 3-7PM Friday the 20th, 10-6PM Saturday the 21th, and 1-4PM Sunday the 22th. Of course with any great Christmas story the goodwill does not end there. Many of the local businesses along Jonathan’s route have donated monetary gifts to help set up for the event. The gifts were unsolicited and unexpected by RMC so they have decided that with all remaining funds they are hoping to set up a foundation for children in the local area so that charity can be found outside of the Christmas season. Additional donations should be sent to Rainelle Medical Center, 645 Kanawha Ave, Rainelle, WV 25962 and make sure to make the check out to Jonathan Thomas.

Merry Christmas.