September 14, 2020
I’ve been thinking a lot about the word community lately. We often tell people we moved to Othello for a job and stayed because of the people.
I’ve never seen a community give so generously when one of our own suffers loss or experiences a hardship. I heard someone say once that the percentage of financial giving our community provides to local causes is so much higher than average. Of course, I’ve forgotten the number, but I see it. We see it.
We have many events to benefit causes from ball teams to city beautification projects to families who lost their home to a fire. Usually a benefit dinner or auction. People will pay $100 for a plate of cookies. Several hundred dollars for tickets to a backyard dinner catered by a local BBQ company. 50 bucks for a jazz choir to sing a note. Whole notes cost more than an eighth note for all you musicians wondering!
Recently, our community lost a treasure. A man named Chuck. Chuck was one of the hardest workers I know. After working long hours at his “day job” he worked a side hustle showing up at the majority of homes in Othello each fall to blow out sprinklers. We haven’t had to think about winterizing our sprinklers for 19 years. Chuck just showed up. If he noticed a more complicated problem that needed attention, he’d start digging and figure out how to fix it. Some years, when Timm was in full-time ministry all he wanted was a plate of cookies. The last few years, his invoice would list the cost PLUS a plate of cookies! Of course he also got some bags of coffee.
Recently a friend shared a story from when she was new in town. She got a flat tire on her bike several blocks from home. “This man stopped to help me”, she remembered. “He had all the tools and fixed my bike without my even asking.” “Was his name Chuck?”, I asked? Yep!
Chuck passed away a couple weeks ago. It was a tragic accident, a heartbreaking loss for his family and our community. Othello will miss a great member of our community. We are richer because of Chuck’s kindness and hard work - oh, and corny jokes. Dependably corny jokes.
Who do you influence? Who do you share a common way of life with? Or share community with? Did you know that’s what conversatio means? To do life. . . with. Community. Show up and contribute.
Let’s be a part of making a better Community.