Hard times, good deeds
The year 2020’s been a tough one.
COVID-19 has been hard on the health of people and businesses alike. The derecho that blew through the Midwest last August, including Greene County, did further damage to crops already stressed by drought. Extreme partisanship in Washington delayed emergency financial aid to Americans desperate for help for many months.
Recovery from the onslaught of adversity has seemed slow sometimes.
But as is always the case when trouble strikes, people step up.
A few minutes after the August derecho moved on to the east, the whine of chain saws started up throughout Greene County. Neighbors helped neighbors, in some cases bringing folks together who were not acquainted at all. Pickup truck drivers, private and municipal alike, cruised up and down streets and roads, loading and hauling away downed branches.
Health care personnel here and across the nation put in long hours day after day and week after week to care for residents afflicted with the coronavirus. They risked their own health in close contact with virus-carrying patients, in some cases serving as stand-in family for shut-ins unable to receive comfort from relatives.
School employees — teachers and others — stayed at their posts when asked to do so, risking their own health so that youngsters could continue their education despite danger from COVID-19.
City and county employees maintained delivery of public services even when the pandemic left some departments shorthanded.
Generosity this season has been impressive.
Greene County food pantry volunteers report significant donations of both food and cash in recent weeks. Various religious, service and charitable organizations have made sizable contributions to worthy causes, and so have private businesses. Toy drives have generated loads of playthings for youngsters.
The spirit of giving is alive and well throughout the nation.
The other day a Dairy Queen in Minnesota reported a string of 900 “pay it forward” sales through its drive-up: occupants of a vehicle paid for the order of the car behind it, the next one did also, and so on through 900 orders.
A number of businesses report welcome support from area residents who order take-out meals or curbside pick-up items to help the local economy during the pandemic.
And Congress finally got its act together last weekend to approve a $900 billion financial aid package to the American people. Significantly, the compromise bill was crafted by a bipartisan group of moderates from both parties who bucked their leadership to break the months-long congressional deadlock.
It’s impossible to compile a complete listing of people’s good works. Most generosity, helpfulness and assorted good deeds are given anonymously; it’s always been like that, especially this time of year. Most folks don’t want publicity for what they do, they just want to help.
May the spirit of community, here and everywhere, continue to drive our lives.