The positive power of community

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opinions

February 3, 2015 - 12:00 AM

Three stories in Monday’s Register illustrate the nature of small town life.
First was news of local teen Scout Henry in a car accident. She’ll be OK, her mother, Angela, said. But the nature of the accident sends chills up every parent’s spine.
Scout veered off a country road late at night only to be discovered the next morning by an area farmer.
“I don’t consider myself a hero,” said Randy McCall, who espied Scout’s car down in a creek bed when driving by.
It seems only yesterday Scout was up on stage singing in the school choir. Area schoolchildren know her from her role with SAFE BASE, the district’s after-school program.
Collectively, she’s ours, just as your and my children are viewed in a town this small. And when something tragic happens, we’re much closer than those proverbial six degrees of separation.
Second, the story of Wings of Warriors, a new cancer support group here in Iola, brought home how both tragedy and success can have a lasting impact.
The story was about the friends and family of two local women, close friends who ultimately died of breast cancer, and their efforts to start up the Wings of Warriors support group.
Survivors of cancer and their families also connect to the effort.
“This community really rallied around us,” said Carla Capper, recalling her daughter Jayme’s experience with Ewing’s sarcoma. “Now we want to give back.”
Even in its infancy, the group has received overwhelming support, once again illustrating the power of community.
Rotary’s clothes closet was another story about do-gooders.
The local philanthropic club has set up a clothes bank at area elementary schools to help students be adequately dressed. In winter weather, especially, the closet has become a godsend to children whose families can’t afford winter coats, boots, hats and gloves.
It all started when a teacher took notice of a young boy who arrived at McKinley Elementary one December morning without a coat. When asked, the youth replied he didn’t own one.

WHEN WE TAKE ownership of the plight of our friends and neighbors, we become a community. It is a status earned by the performance of good deeds.
How lucky to be among such philanthropy.
— Susan Lynn

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