All these good people

Do any of you working, going to the store, or just standing at the kitchen sink washing dishes ever think about how wonderful people are in this world? Instead of dwelling on the bad, there are so many good things happening. I’m including these events in my column this week.

The young man I call my sixth son, Rick, gives us each Christmas a subscription to the “The Week” magazine. If you’ve never seen one, it includes news from around the world, some political columns and editorials, a gossip column, one that includes the not so nice items about people. One that I particularly enjoy is a small column that is called “It wasn’t all bad.”

What astonishes me is, very often, the good things that are reported have been done by such an assortment of people, young and old, rich and poor and all ethnic groups and colors. Here are some paraphrased examples. A young 8 year old noticed a homeless man outside a restaurant where she was eating with her dad. Thinking the man must be hungry; she got up, went outside and gave him her plate of food.

Her dad posted a video of this heartwarming gesture to Facebook where it was viewed more than 44 million times, including the homeless man’s sister. He had disappeared six months earlier. She was overjoyed to discover he was still alive. They are working to reunite the siblings. Here’s another wonderful story. After that epic rainstorm in Louisiana one couple knew how to provide comfort to victims and rescue-workers barbecue.

They spent $1,840 on food and set up shop outside of the emergency shelter in Baton Route. Their donation helped feed some 3,000 hungry people. Next we come to a young Pittsburgh bride-to-be. She wanted her bachelorette party to be more than tiaras and bottomless booze. Instead she decided to give women from a local homeless shelter a day of pampering. She, and her friends took the residents for haircuts, manicures, and a shopping spree.

At the end of the day, she provided a restaurant dinner. She felt this was the perfect way to celebrate the beginning of a new chapter in her life by sharing this special moment with others. This next one is a real surprise; at least it was to the people at the University of New Hampshire’s library. One of the librarians passed away, leaving his estate — all $4 million of it to the school.

His colleagues knew him as a frugal man, who drove an old car, rarely bought new clothes or went out, and ate frozen dinners. His life savings will be used to fund scholarships and renovations. Said one spokeswoman, “The feeling around here has been just kind of awe.” Sometimes people criticize our police. Here’s a story about one policeman who did something very nice.

A teenager’s car broke down and he found himself walking two and a half hours each way to work. When a patrol officer spotted him walking home one day, he stopped to talk to the teen. Impressed by his work ethic, the officer gave the young man a lift home and a few days later presented him with a mountain bike that he and his colleagues had bought.

A young four-year-old fell ill with a rare autoimmune disease that caused causes kidney failure. A search was done looking for a transplant match. Things were looking desperate when her pre-school teacher told her parents that she would be donating a kidney to the young girl. Her mother said, “How do you thank someone for saving your child’s life?” So from now until December I am going to emphasize some things.

Please friends, don’t do any Christmas shopping until you’ve checked the many events locals are having to sell their wares. I’ve been fortunate enough to get a space at the Junior High this year to show my crewel designs, which I often donate for local causes. However, more importantly, it will give me a chance to meet and thank so many of my loyal readers.

People email, call, or sent me letters. Some want to see me in person. Guess I’ll have to update my picture? I’d also love to meet my dear friend from Bottom Road. I do so want to meet all of you and will be at the middle school Dec. 2 and 3. Please come by to let me thank you for sharing life’s adventures with you through the LVN.

Edna Van Leuven is a Churchill County writer and columnist. She may be reached at


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