Over the last couple months, I made a point to look through local newspapers for stories about people or organizations that went out of their way to share of their time, talent or resources even though the holiday season wasn’t upon them. I want to say thank you to these individuals and groups for their generosity.
To the Greensburg FFA chapter that joined farmers and the Colts to pack 1 million meals to help feed the hungry; the Kids’ Closet of Decatur County that gave free clothing to school children in a space donated by City Hall; the Greensburg Rotary Club that joined Rotary International in announcing that they are “this close” to stamping out polio worldwide – thank you!
To the St. Gabriel Knights of Columbus that delivered Thanksgiving dinner to homebound senior citizens; Emerson Climate Technologies that committed to a donation of $100,000 over the next five years, providing a new digital mammography unit at Rush Memorial Hospital; Rushville Pharmacy that hosted a fundraiser to collect money for the Rush County Community Assistance Food Pantry – thank you!
These are just a few examples of the good Samaritans out there who have made a difference in our community. Each person touched by your actions will remember your kindness and will hopefully pass it on to someone they see in need of a helping hand.
One concept I would like to share with you is “Pay it Forward.” It is a fairly old concept that has recently been pushed out in the media. Essentially, you do something nice for someone (usually a stranger) in the hopes that they will continue the trend and do something nice for someone else and so forth.
The most common example of this is at a restaurant drive thru where you pay for the person behind you who then pays for the person behind them, setting off a chain reaction. Who knows, the last person in line might be a single mother with barely enough money to buy dinner for her children or a man who is down on his luck.
Holding the door for a stranger, helping someone carry their groceries, picking up a dropped item – these are all simple ways to show kindness to people. The holiday season is usually the time to think about such acts, but I would like to offer you a challenge. Try to spread your charity throughout the year, making the world a little brighter for those around you. This is my goal for 2014. If you make it yours as well, just think of how much happiness we could bring to those around us.
Once again, I would like to say thank you to all those mentioned above and to everyone I overlooked. Thank you for your selfless acts of compassion, generosity, thoughtfulness, time and effort. And to everyone in our community – I hope you have a blessed Christmas season full of joy, laughter and peace.
State Rep. Cindy Ziemke (District 55) serves as Vice Chairman of the Family, Children and Human Affairs Committee. She also serves on the Commerce, Small Business and Economic Development Committee and the Select Committee on Government Reduction. Rep. Ziemke represents portions of Rush, Fayette, Franklin, Ripley and Decatur counties.