Our Voice: Little things add up to make the Tri-Cities better

May 9, 2013 

We're grateful for people who put together a bag of canned or boxed goods for a food drive and for people who endure with courage and joy.

Perhaps our world has become more isolated; we don't seem to have as much social interaction as we used to. But still we all can help and inspire those around us.

Postal food drive

People may not be mailing as many letters and cards as they used to, but on Saturday you can still give your mail carrier a reason to stop at your house.

Put out a bag of food to donate to the annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive.

In a food drive, as with other fundraisers, it is amazing how little drops of water add up.

When planning a fundraiser, most people want to target the big givers in the community. And, truth be told, it would be hard to get by without the major sponsors.

But it is eye-opening to realize how much a lot of small donations add up to.

It's tempting to say to yourself that your little contribution doesn't help much. It does.

School canceled for 'sun day'

What a fun idea!

Canceling school for sunny weather, which in Bellingham apparently is harder to come by than in the Mid-Columbia.

It's not too different than what the school districts do here. Richland students get their "no snow" day off May 24. Kennewick and Pasco will finish their year on time, rather than make up any snow days at the end.

It's the same basic principle, but there's a little flair to the way a private school principal in Bellingham handled it.

In the winter it's fun (for the kids) to wake up and find that school has been canceled. Adults who have to drive in the snow and have to rearrange their schedules might not enjoy it as much.

But taking a "sun day," well, that's something to be grateful for -- and celebrate.

Hanford or bust

Richland is rich in history. Although the electricity mostly comes from hydro, it is literally a city "powered" by nuclear.

The city's history is fairly recent, and they've done a good job of preserving it. It's recent compared with areas of the country that are significant to the Civil War or the Revolutionary War. It's super recent compared with China or Greece.

Although few of the original workers of the Manhattan Project are still with us, we are removed from them only by one generation.

So it makes sense to capture what memories we can while they're still fresh. The newly commissioned bust of Col. Franklin T. Matthias -- manager of the World War II-era Hanford Engineering Works -- is a good way to keep that memory for generations to come.

Harvey's Hero

Caring for one child is hard. Caring for triplets must be exponentially harder. Compound that with fighting your way back from being paralyzed by a gunshot wound.

No wonder Pasco native Re'Gena Bell-Roberts was recognized on the Steve Harvey Show this week.

Her story is inspiring.

We're thinking most people have days when they would rather give up. When those days come to you, think of Bell-Roberts, and hang in there.

Student composer

Congratulations to Hannah Fulton for writing an award-winning choral composition, but mostly for pursuing something she loves.

Teens and adults often find themselves caught in a routine.

As adults we often are so busy doing what we have to that we don't find time to do what we want.

Many teens have the opposite problem. They spend too much time doing what they want and never get around to those things they are supposed to do.

It's a matter of priorities -- and balance.

Oh, that we all had the wisdom of this 17-year-old! Her musical talent appears to be a cultivated gift -- a natural ability reinforced by years of practice.

Her maturity, well, that is simply amazing.

HAAP Awards

We're not sure if it's more amazing to see the 4,443 honorees at this year's Hispanic Academic Achievers Program or the fact that the $65,000 was awarded in scholarship money.

The honor is a big deal. These students work hard to keep their grades up. And this is the most students who have made the grade since the program started 24 years ago.

A shout out also is appropriate to the people who keep HAAP going. It reflects well on this community.

Based on previous years, many of these winners will go on to do great things.

All of them deserve the chance.

As the top winner of the night, Tobias Jimenez said, "Be hungry for success." That's good advice for all of us.

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