Jefferson Award Winner: Tom Spitler

By  | 

BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. (WDTV) -- Each month we bring you a Jefferson Award winner. These awards put the spotlight on some of you who do tremendous things for our community. This month's winner, Tom Spitler has made it his mission to give back to folks in the community.

The holidays, for many of us, are a joyous time. But, that's not the case for everyone. Some are less fortunate. Tom Spitler wanted to change that.

He's one of the driving forces behind Helping Hands of Harrison County, an organization that targets the less fortunate during the holidays. Their mission is to make sure folks can have a good meal, company and much more during the holidays.

The organization has successfully held two Thanksgiving dinners. The first provided meals for over 175 while the second fed nearly the same amount.

The idea hatched when Tom and a friend were talking over coffee.

"I was having coffee one morning, the weather was cold, it was snowing," said Spitler. "I asked him (Tom's friend), 'Could you imagine being homeless on a day like today?' We came up with the idea that we'd like to feed some homeless people and see if we could help out the community a little bit."

That friend he was talking with was Keith Mascia. Tom says Keith is the co-founder of the group and while Keith will take credit for making the food, he says it's Tom who does all the rest.

"Tom does 80 percent of the ground work. Getting people involved, getting donations on the phone, on the web. He's the one who gets all the money, he's the one who puts this together," said Macia,

The group is hoping to keep this tradition alive for holiday seasons to come. And even if it's not during the holidays Tom and company are still giving back -- whether that's holding a Hot Dog for Hero's event to honor veterans like himself or refurbishing old bikes for kids. Tom is truly the definition of a Jefferson Award winner.

"I'd like to let people know I share this (award) with the people who are involved with this group with me. I'm truly humbled by this," said Spitler.