In the past, I have been accused of being a Pollyanna — unrealistically upbeat and optimistic — a negative trait for newspaper people. These days, it is even difficult for me to keep my chin up and stay on the positive side of life.
There are so many reasons to be negative — the plight of the economy, legislators arguing, shortage of state funds — the list goes on and on.
And then I hear how a community comes together and helps others in need and it renews my faith again.
Take Betty Sanders. The retired Marion Elementary School paraprofessional had a nasty fall New Year’s Eve. Miraculously, she is recovering, now at home, and the future looks bright for her. When I talked to her Friday, she said she was appreciative of the outpouring of concern, prayers, and acts of kindness shown to her, her husband Harvey, and her daughters. Betty is one of those people who calls on those in need.
And then there’s the Rick and Gina Mounts family. They lost pretty much everything early Thursday morning when a fire destroyed their Lehigh home. Rick has been featured several times in this newspaper for his military service in the Middle East. St. Luke Hospital Auxiliary Shoppe opened its doors to the family Thursday, giving clothing and items needed to set up a household. The Mounts are living in a friend’s house in Hillsboro as they rebuild their lives. Strangers and acquaintances throughout the county are coming forward to help the family.
That’s what this county as a community does. We come together to help each other — those we know and those we don’t know.
My father was raised in rural Marion County, one of 12 children. His parents were poor, dirt farmers. He often talked about rough times, but he also talked about how the community would come together in times of need or in times of celebration.
Over the past 100 years, that has not changed. We are still a community of Marion County residents who care about our neighbors.
Now there’s the joyous news of Jennifer Ebenhack being able to bring her Haitian children to the U.S. — specifically Marion County — for a few weeks. For nine years, the family was unable to bring them home for visits because the Haitian government wouldn’t let them. Through prayers and much diligence, Jennifer was able to board a plane with all of her children in tow.
The world is full of tragedy but these events make us realize the tremendous gifts we have in this community called Marion County.
— susan berg