Christmas really does bring out feelings of generosity and gratitude in our community. Either you're in a position where you can help someone else or you're able to be grateful for what you have -- most of probably fall into both categories.
Here's just a few of the examples we've seen this week.
It's unthinkable that someone would steal Christmas gifts, but especially gifts that are meant for sick children. Wow. Something is seriously wrong here. Who steals from the Wishing Star Foundation?
To make matters worse, one of the families that was supposed to receive those stolen gifts had their Pasco home burglarized.
The happy ending here is that people are generous and within two days of the Wishing Star Foundation robbery, the gifts were replaced and Enecia Campos and her family are having a happy Christmas after all.
Too many to mention
The Campos family is one of many who will be recipents of people's generosity. The newspaper this week was full of stories about people donating boots to school children, turkeys and canned food to hungry families, homemade candy for baked sales and goodwill to men on Earth in general.
Thanks to the kind-hearted people who are helping others this time of year through various organizations and on their own.
Defibrillator at school
Three things went right for Jeremy Brewer when he collapsed at Richland High this week.
First, his classmates saw him collapse and ran for help immediately. Second, the school had recently purchased automated external defibrillators. Third, someone was trained how to use the device and administer CPR afterward.
All three of these components worked together perfectly this time. The AED is a great little invention, as long as you get it where you need it in time and someone is calm enough to follow instructions.
It's one of those pieces of equipment you hope you don't need, but you're so glad to have it when you do. But it's not a replacement for someone with first aid training and a clear mind, or the boys who ran for help in the first place.
Christmas is a time of traditions for most families and we're thankful today for the traditions our broader "community family" shares this time of year.
A few that come to mind -- although there are many more -- are the Lighted Boat Parade, CUP's Messiah (because this was their last year, we appreciate their last 30 years of service all the more), the luminaries in Desert Plateau, Cathedral of Joy's Living Nativity and the Senske synchronized lights display.
Most of these are wrapping up this week, but you can still put First Night Tri-Cities on your calendar if you're looking for something warm, safe and entertaining to do on New Year's Eve.
Some of the traditions we celebrate can be found in other parts of the world. But some are unique to our area.
In most cases they started small.
A few neighbors got together 26 years ago and started putting out luminaries in one neighborhood in Pasco. Now it's a full-fledged community event.
So often one person can make a difference.
And John Rhode is one of those people. Thanks to Rhode, Kennewick native and winner of the Biggest Loser, for inspiring many of us to do what we know we should do -- make a commitment to a healthy new year. Not all of us are going to lose 220 pounds, but we could all use a shot of determination to better ourselves in some way.