Christmas Mother begins preparation for the holidays (part one)

As the holidays draw nearer, a group of hardworking Bath County residents get together to make sure some local families will celebrate warmly. This year they are led by Christmas Mother, Lynn Pistell of Millboro who spoke with Allegheny Mountain Radio about why she’s committed to the project, and what the Christmas Mother offers Bath County.

Lynn Pistell,

“I was born and raised in a town in northern Indiana Eklhart, Indiana which is right on the Michigan line. I had two older brothers who were twelve and thirteen years older than I, so I was more of an only child with really four parents who spoiled me with lots of attention. My mother stayed at home, and my father worked two jobs to support us. I was brought up to respect each person I met as an individual. I was also taught to help those who needed assistance no matter what my means were. Helping our neighbors was an important part of our family culture. After high school, I went off to college at Miami of Ohio where I met my husband Tim. We were married, and we spent our honeymoon at his granddad Jeavons’ farm on the Cowpasture River here in Bath County. His granddad purchased the farm about eighty years ago, so Tim has been coming here all his life. Now I have been coming here for forty-seven years. Our dream came true about six years ago, as we are now here most of the time.

As with many successful community undertakings, all of the volunteers bring their own special talents to the table. Some individuals sponsor a specific family; others shop and wrap gifts. Still others may split and transport firewood. Mrs. Pistell talked about one of the ways she had contributed in the past.

“I love to knit. I love to knit scarves when I’m watching TV or travelling in the car, so the last couple of years we took in a couple boxes of those. “

And how does all the work get accomplished in time for Christmas?

“I have a group of very dedicated past Christmas mothers who advise me, along with a group of many experienced volunteers, and last year’s Christmas mother, Lynn Ellen Black has been with me every step of the way.”

This year’s Christmas Mother reflected on some of what she has received just by joining in the preparation and distribution of gifts at Christmas.

“I myself have never been poorer in any way from working and supporting worthwhile projects like Christmas Mother. I would like everyone to feel the same joy I feel when I have given of myself to help those in time of need.”

And finally, Lynn Pistell offered an invitation to listeners throughout the Allegheny Highlands;

“to earn their angel wings, by making any contribution they can, whether it is money or goods or time. Let’s make the bells ring, as in the movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

Story By

Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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