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Mary Asma, the 74th Alleghany Highlands Christmas Mother

Mary Asma Is 74th Christmas Mother
This Year's Theme: 'Become That Someone'

(Editor's note: monetary donations may be made via check to: Alleghany Highlands Christmas Mother, P. O. Box 242, Covington, Virginia or online at Highlands Christmas Mother.

Covington, VA (Sept. 29, 2022) - The 74th Alleghany Highland’s Christmas Mother for 2022 is Mary Kramer Asma.

“I was very surprised and overwhelmed to have been asked to serve our community in such a caring opportunity. I have volunteered with the Christmas Mother in various ways over the years and I can see not only the need, but also the appreciation. The heartwarming feeling is shared by both the recipients and by all those who have the chance to volunteer with the Christmas Mother Program.”

Mary’s theme for this year is ‘Become That Someone’. It is the motto of Mary’s Alma Mater, St. Francis College, in Pennsylvania. It reflects the untiring care of Maurice Stokes, an Alumnus and Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame recipient who suffered an injury during a game, and ultimately became paralyzed. His teammate Jack Twyman became his guardian for the rest of his life. When asked why he devoted such time and energy to Maury, he said that Maury had great need for help from someone, and he, Jack, ‘Became That Someone”. If we open our eyes, we can often find the opportunity to ‘Become That Someone’ in many ways to our neighbors.

Mary has chosen as her Scripture and literature inspirations this year the following:

John 15:12, 13 “This is my commandment, love one another as I have loved you, There is no greater love than this”.

Thessalonians 1 5:11 “Therefore, comfort and up-build one another as indeed you are doing”.

Lewis Carroll: “One of the deep secrets of life is that all that is really worth the doing is what we do for others.”

It is anticipated that as in prior years, there will be great opportunity for us to make a difference in the lives of our neighbors during the 2022 Christmas season. Last year we served 617 adults, 460 children ages 0-12, and 134 teenagers, for a total of 1211 individuals.

Our wish is to give a new toy and stocking stuffers to children 12 and under, as well as new clothing. The teenagers will receive a special ‘Teen Bag’. Each family will receive one of the requested needed household items, a bag of household cleaning supplies, and a grocery gift card to purchase food items for Christmas day.

For the Christmas Mother program to be a success, we are looking forward to great Community participation. You can ‘Become That Someone’ in several ways.

Volunteer: This program could not function without the many volunteers who give tirelessly of their time and talents. Due to the ongoing Covid-19 presence, we are limited to having a decreased number of persons in the shop at any given time. If you would like to offer your time and talents, please call The Christmas Mother Shop 540-962-9077 after Oct. 20, and leave a message.

Donate: As in recent years, we can only accept new items due to Covid-19. Items for our wish list include paper products, cleaning supplies, diapers and cleansing wipes, (for children as well as adults), personal care items, children’s toys, AA and AAA batteries, clothing, coats, books, school supplies, sheets, towels, blankets, small kitchen appliances, kitchen ware and cookware and ‘stocking stuffers’ for all the children. Please do not wrap any donated items.

Adopt: Church groups, businesses and individuals can adopt one or more families and provide the requested items. Contact the Christmas Mother Shop on or after Nov. 28 to request adoptions and learn about the adoption procedures.

Contribute: We cannot create the wonder that we do without your contributions. Your monetary donations can be mailed now to Highlands Christmas Mother, Inc. P.O. Box 242, Covington, VA 24426. When the NEW shop location opens Nov. 28th, you can drop off your donations. Any assistance you can provide will be greatly appreciated.

Christ United Memorial Methodist Church has agreed to host the Christmas Mother Shop this year. The address is 200 E. Fudge St., Covington, 24426. The shop will be open weekdays from 9 am to 4 pm, Monday, Nov. 28 through Thursday, Dec. 15. We ask that donations arrive as soon as possible and no later than Monday, Dec. 5. Distribution days will be Tuesday, Dec. 13 through Thursday, Dec. 15. The shop closes for the program year on Friday, Dec. 16th.

Applications will be taken online at www.HighlandsChristmasMother.org from Monday, Oct. 03 through Friday, Oct. 28.

Mary Kramer Asma, originally from East Quogue, NY, has lived in Covington since 1993. She received her BA in Sociology/Social Work from St. Francis College, (now University), and her ADN in Nursing from Region A Nursing Consortium and Haywood Community College, Clyde, NC.

Mary is married to Mark Asma, retired from Westrock. They have three children. Mike and his wife Kristen Wing Asma, reside in Clifton Forge. Maresa Asma lives in Charlotte, NC. Ben and his wife Ginny Farris Asma and their 3 children Henry, 7, Lucy, 5, and Charlie, 2 reside in Vilas, NC.

Mary has been a nurse for over 35 years, beginning in Asheville, NC, at Memorial Mission Hospital. Upon moving to Covington, Mary worked at LG Alleghany in a variety of roles, and retired as Clinical Nurse Supervisor. She was very active at the hospital with various volunteer activities including setting up annual collections of children’s clothing and books for the Christmas Mother, The Angel Tree program at the Salvation Army, and the annual Christmas Bake Sale and Raffle, with all proceeds going to local charities, including the Christmas Mother, Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity and the local food banks among others.

Mark and Mary are parishioners at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Clifton Forge, where Mary serves on the Parish Council.

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(Editor's note: Mrs. Asma provided the Journal with a copy of her remarks that planned for later in the day Friday. Here they are in full...)

"I want to thank you so much for the honor to serve our Highlands as the 74th Christmas Mother. We are blessed to have such an organization, and having all of you Christmas Mothers continuing to hold the candle to keep the program vibrant throughout the years, and caring for our community as you have.

"My theme for this year is ‘Become That Someone’. There is some slightly personal history to that phrase. I went to St. Francis College in Pennsylvania. We had a good basketball team, and the folks still spoke of one athlete from the 50’s, Maurice Stokes. After he graduated he played for the Cincinnati Royals, and had been named Rookie of the Year. In 1958 he fell during a game and struck his head. He did get up and continue to play, but later he began to have significant problems, resulting in paralysis. A teammate, Jack Twyman, took charge of Maury’s care over the years. When later asked why he took on such responsibilities he replied that Maurice needed someone to do that, and he ‘Became That Someone’.

"How many times have we been in situations, whether it be at work, at church or out in the community when we have had the opportunity to ‘Become That Someone’? "I believe that Christmas Mother gives each of us the opportunity and responsibility of becoming that someone to ones neighbor.

In researching and participating in the activities of the Christmas Mother I have been in awe of the generosity of time and gifts from everyone. It is my hope that we can continue on that path this year, opening our hearts and spreading our love to our neighbors.

"I have chosen some verses that I feel are appropriate to Christmas Mother and my theme: John: Love one another as I have loved you.

Thessalonians: Comfort and up-build one another as indeed you are doing.

Lewis Carroll: One of the deep secrets of life is that all that is really worth the doing is what we do for others.

"In other words, let us all “Become That Someone’.

"I ask for your prayers and continued support as we progress through this Christmas Mother Season.

"May you all be well blessed."

Former Christmas Mothers were on the scene in Valley Ridge on Friday too. First row, from left: Charlotte Martin, 1986; Susan Rollinson, 2021; Mary Asma; Anne Wright, 1989; Marie Fitzpatrick, 2016. Second row: Michele Wright, 2018; Marva Sellers, 2018; Lois Gillette, 2000; Carolyn Young, 2011. Third row: Brenda Linkenhoker, 2020; Betsy Arritt, 1996; Holly Peters, 2019. Fourth row: Terry Fridley, 1976; Lisa Schoppmeyer, 2015; Maudie Mitchell, 1974; Linda Venable, 1998; Lang Wilson, 2004.


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