business matters
Karen Schaffner is the new editor of Butler County Business Matters.

Editor's Note: Happy to be back in Butler, even if there is no sun

I am going to make a not-very-nice confession about myself: I am a snob.

When I left Butler 16 years ago, I vowed to never return. I never again wanted to live in a place where the sun doesn't shine. My family and I moved across the country to a place that is almost the opposite of Butler: the Sonoran Desert. My home is in the hot, sunny town of Tucson, a short hour's drive from the U.S.-Mexico border.

I looked back once. As I drove the U-Haul filled with all our worldly possessions down Route 68 on our way to Interstate 79, I gave myself permission to say goodbye. I admired the beauty of the area, the woods and especially the trees. There aren't many tall leafy trees in Tucson. And I cried. In the ensuing years I moved again, this time to Los Angeles, where I had a pass to Disneyland and visited every other week; completed my bachelor's degree in journalism at the University of Arizona, where I had the distinction of being the oldest in my class; and I thought about Butler, wondering if it would change and evolve with the rest of the world.

Turns out it did.

A family situation has brought me back, and The Butler Eagle, where I started my journalism career, welcomed me back. I am happy to be here. This issue of Business Matters really opened my eyes.

As I have worked on this issue about nonprofits in Butler County, I can honestly say that the people in this community are generous and giving in a way that's a real example to anyone anywhere, but especially to me.

A large, successful corporation such as RPP Industries in Zelienople has donated pallets of hand sanitizer to 501(c) organizations. There are nonprofits that keep us fed no matter what our circumstances might be. There are people who see to it that our animals are well cared for, offer protection to those who are vulnerable, who assist our dying family members and help them to a comfortable death. There are those who simply stand outside our shopping centers in sometimes dreadful weather and ring a bell, asking for us to be generous to our fellow citizens.

Above all, there are those souls who, despite stressful working conditions caused by the pandemic, where getting infected really could mean death, continue their good work because it is the right thing to do.

Moving is a struggle, no question. It is very hard to say goodbye to my sunny home; my husband, who has to stay behind to get our home ready to rent before he can join me; and my furry, four-legged children (my two-legged children are adults and left me years ago). However, when I see the daily sacrifice of volunteers and staff who work so others may have a better life, I am humbled, and if I am honest, ashamed for being such a snob. Therefore, it is with a new sense of service and delight that I find myself the new editor of Business Matters. I look forward to the months ahead as I rediscover the area's treasure: its people, who really know how to make a person feel welcomed and cared for.