Good Samaritans help Good Samaritan get back to street cleanup

by Trish Rudder

A Good Samaritan is defined as a person who helps other people and especially strangers when they have trouble. We found that Morgan County has many Good Samaritans who came to the aid of Berkeley Springs resident Ellen Lachewitz (Watson) right before Christmas.

Lachewitz had been seen along U.S. 522 with a shovel,  wheelbarrow and an edger – tools she owned to clean up the grass and walkways along 522 South.  While she was working before Christmas, her tools were stolen.

Berkeley Springs resident Gary Easton saw her working, talked with her and put a message on social media asking for donations to replace her stolen items.

Easton said last week that people responded “all within 72 hours” of the donation request and donated $500 to replace her items.

A new wheelbarrow (dump wagon), shovel, gas-operated edger and safety cones were purchased for her, said Easton.

Ellen Lachewitz received new tools through community donations to replace the ones that were stolen before Christmas.
photo by Gary Easton

Easton said Lachewitz loves living in Morgan County and wanted “to give back to Morgan County,” and that is why she wants to clean up along the road.

When she saw that her tools were stolen, she told Easton, “it’s okay. Maybe they needed the items more than I did.”

“She’s 100% sincere,” Easton said.

Lachewitz said last Friday that she and her family retired in Morgan County about nine years ago. She likes outdoor work, and she likes to walk into town. If she sees trash along the roadway, she picks it up.

“I noticed the sidewalks needed edging and I would ask permission,” she said.

The sidewalk in front of Douglas Motors needed edging, where Easton works, and Lachewitz got permission to edge the sidewalk.

“Gary was thrilled,” she said.

She said she has not developed a plan to work on what areas are next in or outside the town. She has worked on parts of Martinsburg Road and on U.S. 522 South.

“If I see something that needs to be done, I help,” she said.

Lachewitz said in addition to the donations, other people replaced other tools like a long-handled shovel, and a new broom.

One person told her to get what she needed at Hunter’s Hardware and put it on his tab, she said.

A green safety vest was given to her before her tools were stolen, she said.

She said she has met “so many good people here in Morgan County.”

Lachewitz said she wants to give back to a community “that’s been so welcoming to us.”

She said she believes when you give back, you will get even more back.