Local businesswoman continues her Christmas quest in Rockcastle County
by Chris Harris Commonwealth Journal
Things are changing in the life of one local “Good Samaritan” … though this Christmas, at least one good thing will stay the same.
For almost a decade now, Angela Haist Warren, a local businesswoman here in Somerset, has maintained a special relationship with a very special group of young people at the Rockcastle Regional Hospital & Respiratory Care Center.
In that facility’s “West Unit” stay young people with conditions that limit their ability to get out and live the same lives as other, healthier kids, yet still with the same hopes and desires as any other -- a holiday bounty of video games, music players, and whatever other goodies one might expect to find under a Christmas tree.
Warren started showing up and spending time with these individuals with the late evangelist Russell Bryant of the local Church of the Living God. She and Bryant would raise money to help make for a better Christmas for the youth, as well as hold holiday get-togethers with songs, fellowship, and laughter in tough times.
Now, things are different. Bryant has passed away; Warren is recently married and expecting a child -- a Christmas baby due later this month. The former Kelange Spa co-owner also has a new business: Seven Salon and Spa on Monticello Street.
Yet Warren is right there again trying to help out the less fortunate in this most crucial time of the year.
“It is important to me to show kindness to these people because over the years they have grown to be close friends,” she said. “I feel that God has richly blessed my life and I know that He has for others and it’s a blessing to share His love with others.”
That love has certainly made a difference for the West Unit patients, many of whom may have come from disadvantaged backgrounds over the years. The smiles that light up on their faces when Warren comes to visit and spend time with them truly helps make this season bright, as the old song goes.
But in order to make the trip complete, Warren needs to be able to play the role of Santa Claus and hand out gifts -- and for that, she’s looking to raise about $1,500 this month.
“We are hoping to buy for 19 people this year,” she said. “Some popular items are gift cards, body wash sets, CDs, movies, and other items specific to each person.”
Fortunately, the community has been very willing to step up and help in the past, as every year Warren has asked Commonwealth Journal readers for help, she’s been able to raise all or a good portion of the money needed to provide the desired gifts for the West Unit youth. This year, she’s hoping, won’t be any different.
Those wishing to donate may make checks payable to Somerset Christian Fellowship Church (730 Jarvis Avenue, 606-875-3711), with a memo of Rockcastle Hospital fund. Donations may be accepted through December 13. All money raised goes to gifts for the kids.
For Warren, who has also worked with kids as a youth minister at Somerset Christian Fellowship Church, having a baby on the way adds a new perspective to things. She’s always tried hard to help other people’s kids -- now she can help share that love with her own.
“I’ve mentored a lot of children/young people over the years in my church class, as well as the hospital, so it is exciting expecting my own finally,” said Warren. “It is awesome to know that I will be sowing into my own son’s life.”