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 Sartell-St. Stephen and St. Joseph Newsleaders, shared several stories that are good-news reminders of how many kind, caring, helpful people live in our midst.
With huge help from the Sartell High School Student Council, more than $18,000 was raised 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.
Yet another helping of good news came from the “Saints in Service” day, Oct. 28, by the students, parents and staff at St. Francis Xavier School in Sartell. They raised more than $29,000 in donations by doing good deeds for others in the city – raking, cleaning windows, taking away yard waste, cleaning out flower beds and much more for senior residents and others who, for one reason or another, cannot do those jobs themselves. There were 89 families involved, with a total of 139 adults and 183 children at the work sites. They not only raised money for their school, but they helped so many people as well in doing their hard work. A similar Saints in Service day took place at the All Saints Academy, St. Joseph.
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.