Local acts of kindness bring smiles to so many

Dennis DalmanEditorial, Print Editions, Print St. Joseph0 Comments

With all the “breaking news” stories of cruelties in the world, the latest being another hideous massacre in Texas, it’s so good to be reminded of so many acts of kindness and caring right here on the local level.

It’s especially reassuring and heartwarming to learn, time and again, how many young people are involved in such good causes that help others. Newsleader reporter Cori Hilsgen, in this week’s St. Joseph and Sartell-St. Stephen Newsleaders, shared several stories that are good-news reminders of how many kind, caring, helpful people live in our midst.

In St. Joseph, the All Saints Academy students participated in the 34th annual “Saints in Service” workathon day, Oct. 28, as did other Catholic schools in the area, including St. Francis Xavier School in Sartell.

The All Saints Academy reached its fundraising goal of $21,000 for needs at their school through many hours of hard volunteer work for seniors and people with disabilities. The students and adults cleaned yards, bagged and hauled leaves and performed many other yard chores related to late fall, preparing for winter.

There were about 200 volunteers working at 40 job sites. They did their work despite an obstacle – an early snow. Other jobs will be done later once the snow disappears.

As a reward for their hard work, the school threw a Halloween party for the children, and everyone had a good time.

In Sartell, other kinds of good deeds were accomplished. For example, as detailed by reporter Hilsgen, the high-school student council helped raise more than $18,000 for the Make-a-Wish Foundation with contributions and sales that involved so many people in the school district. Last year, the students raised Make-a-Wish money  for Jackson Stewart, a student at Oak Ridge Elementary whose wish was to have his own blue “kitty kat” golf cart because due to a medical condition he has trouble walking for any length of time. This year, the council students decided to do it again – to raise more Make-a-Wish funds, this time for Sophie Lathe, a 10-year-old student suffering from spinal muscular atrophy and whose wish is to go to Disney World in Florida. Hundreds of students, teachers, staff members and parents in the Sartell-St. Stephen School District worked hard as a labor of love to help sweet, deserving children.

St. Francis Xavier School Principal Kathy Kockler summed it all up nicely: “It’s a great way to meet our neighbors and a gift to serve alongside of others . . . The smiles from our families and those we are helping out are priceless.”

So many good deeds done locally have caused all of us to smile in the knowledge that acts of kindness far outweigh the acts of cruelty in this world.

Author: Dennis Dalman


Dalman was born and raised in South St. Cloud, graduated from St. Cloud Tech High School, then graduated from St. Cloud State University with a degree in English (emphasis on American and British literature) and mass communications (emphasis on print journalism). He studied in London, England for a year (1980-81) where he concentrated on British literature, political science, the history of Great Britain and wrote a book-length study of the British writer V.S. Naipaul. Dalman has been a reporter and weekly columnist for more than 30 years and worked for 16 of those years for the Alexandria Echo Press.

Leave a Reply