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Mon, July 04

Community View: Offering a hand up

I moved to Kingman in 2004. A quick drive up and down Stockton Hill Road revealed a much smaller Kingman Regional Medical Center campus, and an old, much smaller Walmart that was located where the Big 5 Sporting Goods is now. Housing developments were few and far between, and weekends were filled with local softball tournaments and soccer games.

Our town was smaller, and the intersections much less busy. Back then, when I mentioned to friends and relatives that we had moved to Kingman, many recounted that their only recollection of our city was it being a “gas stop” on their way to another destination.

Today, our little town continues to grow. We have more choices for restaurants, more medical resources available, a much larger Walmart, and neighborhoods popping up where there once was only brown dirt and tumbleweeds.

Beale Street is bustling with life again and the Kingman Powerhouse is visited frequently by tourists on their way to the Grand Canyon. We can see so much good from the opportunities that have abounded in our community. I believe that along with the growth of community and business, goodness has abounded. Churches, clubs, community centers and civic leaders have all risen to the challenge of helping maintain balance, and give support to citizens within the town of Kingman.

However, growth does have its challenges. And when the pandemic took root in our part of the country in spring of 2020, many of our resources were stretched. Hospitals were overworked, delivery companies were in high demand, schools closed their physical doors and opened their virtual windows, parents worked from home or not at all.

When work was not available, the government provided temporary financial relief with stimulus checks. Along with some financial help, local food pantries stepped forward to close the gap.

However, with the increase in demand, the food banks were now feeling the stretch and were finding it difficult to meet the needs. Last year, on more than one occasion, there were news articles and requests to make a food donation to the community pantry.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints began making food delivery donations before 2020 but started to increase their donations in 2021 with large pallets of nonperishable food. Typically the deliveries were brought to a warehouse in southeast Las Vegas and volunteers from Kingman would drive to the warehouse, have the food loaded, and bring it back to food pantries in Kingman and surrounding communities.

However, this past week, due to the generosity of local business Bulldog Disposal, offering their location as a delivery point, and multiple volunteers, the pallets of food were able to come directly to Kingman. Less travel meant that more food could be donated.

Volunteers met on Feb. 4, to unload, disassemble, reload and distribute 12 pallets of food of approximately 2,000 pounds each to food pantries in Lake Havasu City, Needles, Bullhead City and Kingman. Each of these pallets contained nonperishable food such as beef stew, black beans, peanut butter, pasta, canned soup and corn. Some of the food pantries that received these donations included Kingman Area Food Bank, Bullhead City Salvation Army, Bullhead City Food for Families, Havasu Community Health and Needles Firehouse Ministries.

Growth and change continue to move forward, but we can continue to look out for our neighbor. As many towns across the state of Arizona build reputations in the tourism industry or recreational industry, I have always believed that Kingman’s greatest victory is to build bridges of humanity. Working together, families helping families, and community members helping citizens, neighbors helping neighbors.

In your lifetime, you will most likely need a hand up if it hasn’t happened already. If you have the ability, the humanity and the love to share, look out for your neighbor and take the opportunity to reach out and offer a hand. I’m grateful to be a part of this beautiful City of Kingman and once again see the good.

(Amy Lowry is a resident of Kingman.)

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