There are many good things going on in our community. We try to celebrate some of them each week in this column.
But there are some really heart wrenching stories in the paper from time to time, too. These often are accompanied by acts of compassion.
Left to our own devices, many of us would choose a life without sadness or grief. By so doing, we also would be choosing a life with little joy.
If you haven't read the letters to the editor yet for today, you probably want to get a box of tissues handy before you start. You may need them.
Even if you don't personally know the Neiman family or the Toregrases or Alfredo Barajas, it's touching to read their stories.
We appreciate the kindnesses of a community that helps each of them and all of us.
Sometimes the help that we need comes from friends and family. Sometimes from strangers.
New baby, new home
Jacqui Munson could probably testify to the kindness of strangers. She was homeless and pregnant. Now she is housed and a new mom.
Someone passing through town read her story in the Tri-City Herald and made an anonymous donation of $2,500 to help her get on her feet.
Other helpers include the Union Gospel Mission, Community Action Connections, Bethel Church and Toys for Tots.
If The Beatles are right in All You Need Is Love, Munson and her boyfriend now have everything they need. Almost. A job would be super helpful.
Losses lead to throne
We love that someone is successful in his quest for better health. Hats off to Brian Steinwand for being "crowned" TOPS (Taking Off Pounds Sensibly) Washington King.
He's an inspiration for the common man.
We love that he lost weight by making better food choices and exercising. Face it, fad diets and promises of a quick fix have a certain allure.
Eating your veggies and hitting the gym may not have the same appeal, but you can't deny the results, inside and out.
Looking at Steinwand's before and after cholesterol levels and blood pressure make that "5-a-day" look a whole lot better. Pass the salad; hold the dressing.
Light a Candle in the Darkness
Usually this space on Thursdays is devoted to things we like to see in our community. Here's something we're grateful that we don't see in the Mid-Columbia: female circumcision.
It's a non-medical procedure that we won't go into here, but it's a common practice in 28 countries and the World Health Organization estimates that as many as 140 million woman have experienced it -- most without a choice.
An event to raise awareness is scheduled for Feb. 6.
Cadwells donate $2 million
While we are on the subject of medical procedures, John and Priscilla Cadwell, of Kennewick, have helped Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences buy their building in Yakima.
It's an example of how business and education can work together.
The donation will allow the medical college to accept more students, thereby producing more family doctors for the communities in Eastern Washington.
It's a successful partnership we are interested in seeing more of around the area.