Sometimes its the little stuff that makes a good community great.
While Thanksgiving is a time to remember the general things were supposed to be grateful for - health, food, family - its also a time to take stock of blessings that, in our comfort, we take for granted.
Just a glance at recent headlines is enough to highlight some of those little blessings that are represented in the people of our community, and give reasons to be glad we live here:
Its not a lot of money - just over $60,000 - but the proceeds from a recent county surplus-equipment auction help recoup money taxpayers spent on vehicles.
Just a few years ago, surplus sales were handled through sealed bids, and brought in chump change. Then workers in the county shop, where the equipment is serviced, suggested they be allowed to clean the stuff up and auction it off.
Since then, the popular auction - such as the latest held Nov. 15 - have recouped far more money than the secretive bid process once did. Taxpayers should be grateful for a more-efficient way of running things, and for leaders willing to take suggestions.
What started as Debra van Tuylls class project at Augusta State University became a scholarship for firefighters.
Jeremy Wallen, a Martinez firefighter, is the scholarships first recipient. Just as Thanksgiving reminds us not to take our blessings for granted, 9/11 showed us the importance of our emergency personnel. This scholarship will be a perpetual reminder that individual firefighters deserve our thanks.
Columbia Countys greatest public asset, without a doubt, is its schools. Is it test scores? New buildings? Good food in the lunchrooms?
Well, maybe. But its also because of educators like Lorraine Hall and Teri Seader.
Tired of hearing students complain - rightly - about unsightly bathrooms, the two Evans Middle School teachers scrubbed and redecorated a girls bathroom.
Hall is a former county teacher of the year - so were not talking about educators with spare time to waste. These are teachers who know school can be a positive experience or an ugly one, and sometimes just spiffing up a dingy bathroom can make the difference.
Finally, if we want a vision of a bright future, look no further than the creative mind of Isabella Zeiler. The Martinez girl has used her imagination to win $20,000 in two national contests - and shes just 7.
Columbia County is seeking a new logo to identify and unify our community, and has turned to citizens for ideas. With kids like Isabella in the mix, we have no doubt a great design is coming.
In the great scheme of things, these and other little successes may not mean much. But they add up. In a community attuned to gratitude for the good all around us, its the little things that mean a lot.
Happy Thanksgiving - for all blessings, great and small.
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