A newspaper’s job is to cover the news, but a community newspaper’s job can go so much further.
That was the case last week when we here at The Chatham Voice received a call from a local couple at wit’s end. The South Kent residents had their furnace conk out in late January. They were told a new furnace would cost $6,000, money they don’t have.
They were out of options, and on these cold February nights were trying, and failing, to heat their home with space heaters.
Ron and Pam Mazerolle reached out to local media to see if someone could help. The Chatham Voice answered. Two staff members, Tricia Weese and Mary Beth Corcoran, went above and beyond, lighting up the phone lines and chasing down options, until Fahrhall Mechanical Contractors said they could help out.
Fahrhall donated a new propane furnace to the Mazerolles. Rather than have an annual Christmas party, the business puts together a fund that is used to help one person or family each year.
The furnace was to be installed this week.
The Voice is a small independent newspaper. But we are part of our community. We live in Chatham-Kent. We give back any way we can. Profits don’t head out of town and east to Quebec. They remain here.
The media business is much like the retail business. Locally owned businesses are more likely to invest money and time in their communities, and are more inclined to be embedded in those communities.
We aren’t a big-box media outlet. Our owners don’t live in a mansion or answer to U.S. investors. We live in Chatham and Wallaceburg. We laugh, love and cry right beside you.
Big-box media ownership couldn’t care less about the people and businesses of Chatham-Kent. To them, you are just a siphon point to draw out dollars.
We here at The Voice do care. We’ve invested in this community, have supported many a local event, and look out for the proverbial little guy.
Ask the Mazerolles if they think we make a difference.