Recently, I was asked, “What does the town of Ava have to offer?” I thought of places to shop or eat, but I didn’t have an answer at that moment. However, with recent events that have caused grief, pain and hardship for Douglas County residents, I do have the answer now.
A good friend, and family man, was recently seriously injured in an accident. There was an immediate outpouring of support, prayers, help and time from others to help this man and his family, and our little community took over all chores and work, and established a community page on which people could check on their friend daily. A ramp appeared at his home, built by Good Samaritans who thought ahead of his homecoming. Prayers for his recovery come daily from hundreds of concerned Ava neighbors. Whispers are that a music benefit from area bands is in the works to help with the large hospital expenses the family faces.
A former resident of Ava lost his wife, the children lost their Mom. A benefit and auction was well attended, and people from miles around donated their time and money to help the young man face present costs and future needs for his family. He is a man who has always donated his time and talents whenever possible to other folks who are having a benefit for someone in need, and Ava residents, past or present, seem to know when one of their neighbors need help.
A man and his family lost everything but the clothes they had on to a house fire a week before Christmas. Within an hour, neighbors came, strangers stopped, community members started planning for the family. Within 24 hours, they had clothes, shoes, basic necessities, a warm home to stay in until they had their own again, and money to start getting what they needed for a new home. The Red Cross, Ava area businesses, the Herald and KKOZ radio, Ava Chamber of Commerce, friends, family, and even strangers came together to help, immediately. Love in motion was witnessed. One lady heard what happened, walked up and gave the family a hundred dollar bill, then disappeared. An elderly man walked in and literally gave the coat off his back to give them warmth in this cold weather. Money has been donated by churches and people who just want to help.
Whether tragedy, circumstance or an accident brings one of our neighbors hardship and pain, the people who are Ava come together, in an outpouring of love, kindness, and generosity. They do this not for recognition or fame, but because they truly are The Treasures of the Ozarks.
So in answer to the question, “What does the town of Ava have to offer?”
HEART. Real, honest, caring and generous, Heart.
Proud to call Ava my home!
– Dan Herrell