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Good deeds deserve recognition

on Tuesday, 04 June 2019. Posted in Columns, Opinions

Good deeds deserve recognition
Avery’s classmates in Ms. Ashley Bair’s first grade class at Royal Elementary School: Front row, left to right - Kate Genoble, Lane Dowdell, Natalie Chase, Avery Casey, Collins McBride, Jane Hyman, and Laura Crosson; Back row - left to right: Josephine Campbell, Harper Franken, John Wyatt Temple, Miller Turner, Ben Peze, Sims Bratton, and Lilly Turner.

Part of the reason I accepted this job is because the publisher, Don Swartz, strongly emphasized the reporting of good news. If I had not made up my mind about joining The News Journal team by then, at that point I was sold.

Having worked in the newspaper business for nearly three decades, I have heard the old journalism adage, “If it bleeds, it leads,” far more times than I care to remember. “People won’t read good news, Bob,” I’d be told. “They want the bad stuff. That’s what sells.“

Well I never bought what they were selling and I still don’t. I believe – no, I know - people will read good news. There is no shortage of it, but one might think so from following the vast majority of mainstream news outlets. Bad news always trumps good news, or at least it sure seems that way.

Every single day in every single community there is good news to report, but it often gets bypassed for crime stories and pictures of people in orange jumpsuits. Not that reporting the bad stuff is unimportant. Not only is it very important, but also it’s also absolutely necessary. The problem is the balance of news reporting is weighted significantly more toward bad news.

We at The News Journal are trying to do something about that. In reading The News Journal in print or online, you will find only good news. We’ll keep you abreast of happenings in the community, update you on things going on in our schools and hospitals, and offer feature stories on people and events.

There’s plenty of good news to report in Florence and we plan to do so.

Which brings me to the title I have given to this column: “In Word and Deed.” It was inspired by Colossians 3:17 – “And Whatever You Do, Whether In Word Or Deed, Do It All In The Name Of The Lord Jesus, Giving Thanks To God The Father Through Him.”

The intent of this column is very simple: You tell us about the deed and we will spread the word. Contact me by phone, e-mail or through The News Journal Facebook page and share with us a good deed or act of kindness you have witnessed. If its something you think deserves some attention, let us know about it. Small or large, it doesn’t matter. We will let our readers know that there are good people doing good things in our community.

So without further ado, I now share with you this week’s good deed. It comes courtesy of a group of selfless young people from Ms. Ashley Bair’s first grade class at Royal Elementary School.

With the help of parents and friends, these 7-and-8-year-olds set up a lemonade stand on May 19 at the intersection of Fairway Drive and Rosewood Drive to raise money for a classmate in need of stem cell therapy.

Seven-year-old Avery Casey (her Facebook page is Adventures of Awesome Avery) was born with Cerebral Palsy. She has a dream of one day being able to walk unassisted and to do so she will need to undergo stem cell therapy. Ashley has a second round of therapy scheduled for this summer and her classmates decided they wanted to help her and her family with the cost.

The day of the lemonade stand the weather was hot, humid and pushing 90, positively perfect for selling lemonade. With bright yellow signs cut into the shape of lemons, Avery and her classmates went to work attracting customers. In only a few hours, the children raised $1,500.

Avery’s mom, Nicole Casey, was overwhelmed by the love and support.

“It’s not every day you meet a group of 7-8 year-old who are eager to help a friend.” she posted. “I’d say it’s also rare to find a group of parents who facilitate their children’s wishes and give of their own time to plan an event that brings not only a classroom but a community together.”

You’ve got that right, Nicole.

To these wonderful kids and their parents, I say thanks for showing us what it means to care for and help out a friend. You are walking the walk, and not just talking. And one day, with the help of people like you, your friend Avery will join you in that walk.

In word and deed, indeed.

I look forward to hearing from the rest of you.

Keep smiling.

Contact Editor Bob Sloan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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