D. Gary Davis
The nursery rhyme that most know as: Roses are red, Violets are blue. Sugar is sweet, and so are you, will probably be remembered today as many will celebrate Valentine’s Day. The ability to find someone to share this life with, is indeed one of life’s greatest gifts. Sonya, Thank you for being my Valentine today, and always!
There are many differing ideas, concepts and even theoretical discussions on the concept of St. Valentine. Was he a "real” person, what he was able to accomplish and the multiple versions of how he died. One included the giving of a card to one of his jailer’s daughters, who had been healed, with the signature of "from your valentine”! The history may be uncertain but the current impact of this national holiday is indeed one of significance. The National Retail Federation relates that in 2017, Valentine’s Day will contribute $18.2 Billion, but will be less than the all-time high of $19.7 Billion spent last year. They theorize that only 54 percent of the population will be celebrating this year, again down from the record setting 63 percent from back in 2007. The average American who does celebrate this holiday will spend $136.57 on various items such as Chocolate, Flowers, Meals, Jewelry and Clothing. If you are among those who will be Celebrating this day (or week) please remember to always "shop local” and help our local independent and corporate retail businesses across Bradley County if at all possible!
This past year has also given many across Bradley County, and our region, reasons to be thankful to even be alive. The Severe Thunderstorms, Tornadoes, Wind, Hail and even the prolonged Drought have left many of our citizens and residents in Bradley County in desperate need of help. We have been given information from our Cleveland Bradley County Emergency Management Agency concerning the designation of our area as an U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster and Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program eligibility. These loans are available in response to a letter from Gov. Bill Haslam, requesting a disaster declaration by the SBA. The drought that began on June 28th, 2016 and the severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, wind and hail on November 29 – 30, 2016 are qualifiers for this assistance opportunity. Eligibility, application deadlines and other information may be found by contacting the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard of hearing) or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
The ability to help one another in their time of need is something that we all should be working to make part of our daily routine. This is important for us all to remember on Valentine’s Day, and always. We never know when the next "disaster” may strike, who will be effected, and for how long. In being prepared as a community and helping us all during the recovery, this helps to keep Bradley County, Tennessee at its best!