• Last modified 3623 days ago (Aug. 19, 2009)


Strangers helping strangers, small towns get it right

It has been an amazing experience, collecting money weekly from containers in Hillsboro, Marion, and Peabody for Thane Hurst and his family.

Thane is the 15-year-old Hillsboro High School golfer who was diagnosed with a rare form of benign cancer, astrocytoma, on his spinal cord. His mother, Ginger, works in our office as bookkeeper. The family is originally from Peabody.

Thane had surgery in May in Wichita and a second go-round just last week in Baltimore. It appears surgeons were successful in removing most if not all of the tumors with no negative effects.

Marion County residents should pat themselves on their backs. The outpouring of generosity has been amazing.

Most who contribute do not know Tim, Ginger, Thane, or Abi — yet they give.

When I’ve collected money from area retailers and thanked them for allowing us to place a container in their businesses, often they comment that it was the right thing to do.

Some shared similar stories of times when they have been in need and others have supported them.

A Sunday school class made a donation. They don’t know the Hursts.

Another church sponsored a golf team for a benefit tournament last month. They just wanted to help.

And yet another church with a small congregation also made a donation.

Checks also were deposited in containers located in businesses and donations were made at Emprise Bank where the fund is located. Some were friends, most were not.

In this world of “me first” mentality and tightening purse strings, it is comforting to know that one thing will never change — the generosity of Marion County people.

We’ve seen this repeatedly at soup suppers, auctions, and other benefits when a hat is passed around to help a family and people have dug — sometimes pretty deep — to pull out a dollar or two.

Caring for one another is such a basic human trait and yet we don’t see as much as we should — except here, in our communities for one of our own.

It’s a beautiful thing.

— susan berg

Last modified Aug. 19, 2009