December 3, 2021

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The spirit of business

Donations honor Hatfield man’s ‘spirit of generosity’

NORTHAMPTON — Amalia FourHawks hadn’t found her 85-calendar year-outdated husband Leonard FourHawks for more than nine months because the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March. Talking as a result of a plexiglass window at the VA Health care Center in Leeds just a couple months ago, the two experienced a ton of catching up to do regardless of everyday cellular phone phone calls.

1 thing her spouse was adamant about was producing confident that they created their yearly donation to the Sidney F. Smith Toy Fund in the memory of Amalia’s brother Mark Neal, a Hatfield resident, father and locksmith who died of cancer in November 2014 at the age of 60.

“It was after his passing and in the course of his funeral that folks ended up coming to the spouse and children and stating that they had this sort of loving thoughts of him mainly because he would do matters like drop off a bag of groceries on someone’s methods,” Amalia recalled. “One more mature lady came to us and instructed us about how she’d been so concerned about a fence rail that had been broken and she couldn’t physically handle the perform on it. And she got up 1 morning and it was done. And it was my brother. So a lot of persons held telling us these superb stories. We did not truly know that he did that form of thing.”

Although Leonard and Neal weren’t shut pals, he informed Amalia that he considered it was crucial, even for the duration of a tough 12 months with a pandemic nevertheless raging, to honor Neal’s legacy, she said. She and her partner donated $100 to the toy fund, while her father Alton Neal (who life with her in Florence) contributed $100 as nicely.

Amalia described her brother Mark as owning a a little bit gruff exterior at periods, but all round remaining type-hearted. It was not right until soon after his dying she discovered that, moreover encouraging men and women in his neighborhood and group, he experienced also donated income on a typical foundation to the Sidney F. Smith Toy Fund and to the Northampton Survival Middle.

“This is a person who didn’t have a whole whole lot,” she extra. “But it was in his heart that he had extra than other folks. And so, it was only appropriate to share.”

Mark Neal labored as a locksmith at Foster Farrar Legitimate Worth components retail outlet on King Road in Northampton for much more than a decade. Moreover his position, Neal was a mentor to people today as a recovering alcoholic at Alcoholics Nameless meetings.

“It was extremely essential to him simply because he considered he had a position in inspiring other people,” Amalia explained. “He was a conundrum. He definitely was an enigma as far as persona because what you noticed just one working day, you would not see the following day. But underneath, you knew he was heading to go the additional property for you.”

The household had been contributing to the toy fund and other charities every single year all over the holiday seasons right before Mark died, but just after knowing far more about him, they’ve manufactured it an annual tradition to “make guaranteed that the spirit of generosity nevertheless lives,” Amalia mentioned.

Amalia reported if her brother Mark understood that the spouse and children was honoring his legacy by donating to the toy fund, he’d most likely be a minor embarrassed. She claimed he was another person who was particularly humble to the place in which not even his possess relatives understood about his charitable acts.

“Our spirit of Xmas is building guaranteed that other men and women have Christmas,” she added. “And that’s our memory of my brother.”

Named immediately after a previous business enterprise supervisor at the Gazette, the toy fund began in 1933 to help people in want during the Despair. These days, the fund distributes vouchers worthy of $40 to families for every youngster from age 1 to 14. Suitable households ought to stay in any Hampshire County local community other than Ware, in the southern Franklin County cities of Deerfield, Sunderland, Whately, Shutesbury, and Leverett, or in Holyoke in Hampden County.

18 Levels Household Products and services for Western Massachusetts at 59 Interstate Drive in West Springfield verifies families’ eligibility and the Gazette handles expenses associated with the travel, freeing all donations to fund the vouchers.

The following stores are accepting the vouchers this year: A2Z Science and Learning Shop, 57 King St., Northampton Blue Marble/Minimal Blue, 150 Major St., Degree 1, Northampton: Discounts & Steals, 1 Pearl St., Northampton Large Five Guides, 141 N. Most important St., Florence The Toy Box, 201 N. Pleasurable St., Amherst After On A Baby,1458 Riverdale St., West Springfield Sam’s Outside Outfitters, 227 Russell St., Hadley Odyssey Bookshop, 9 School St., Village Commons, South Hadley The Eric Carle Museum of Photograph Reserve Art, 125 W. Bay Highway, Amherst World Eye Bookshop & Magical Baby Toy Retail store, 134 Principal St., Greenfield Holyoke Sporting Products Co., 1584 Dwight St. No. 1, Holyoke.

Donations to the Toy Fund may perhaps be mailed to the Day by day Hampshire Gazette, P.O. Box 299, Northampton, MA, 01061, or manufactured by Gazettenet at www.gazettenet.com. Checks must be built payable to the Sidney F. Smith Toy Fund.

Chris Goudreau can be attained at [email protected]

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