Kindness and caring in Yellow Springs, 2014
- Published: January 1, 2015
For this holiday edition of the News, staffers asked readers to respond to the question, “What acts of kindness and caring have you witnessed in the village during 2014?”
I am grateful for the kind acts of love and kindness shown to me from a very cool villager named Nick Cunningham. My family is sort of new to the village and we have been learning our way around. Nick has been more than super in helping us get acquainted with all the essentials a family needs to feel a sense of community. Thank you, Nick, for being such a great support to our family this year. You totally rock! —Basim Blunt
I recently experienced an act of kindness that really touched my heart. My mom, Arlene (DeBonis) Motter, passed away early in the morning on Dec. 6 after a three year battle with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. After I received the news, I posted an update to my Facebook page to notify my friends and family. When I went out to check the mail later in the morning, in the mailbox was the sweetest, handmade sympathy card from Susan Gartner. I was so touched that someone from the Village, who had never met my mom, and is someone that I don’t know very well, had taken a moment out of their busy life to leave a note of support for me and my family. Susan’s small act of kindness reminded me of the very special and supportive community that we live in here in Yellow Springs. — Robin Heise
Officer Carlson helping a senior do her errands — go to the bank and to Tom’s. They both looked happy to be with each other and were lit by the early morning fall sunshine. Bob Partida raises money for emerging nonprofits … to “get things going”. His specialty is planting seeds. I know he likes watching those seeds grow, too. — Kathryn Hitchcock
Our friends and neighbors have been so kind and helpful. This year my mom died and our first grandbaby was born, and our friends, and the whole community really, showed their caring in wonderful ways. It was very heartwarming. Out of that experience, I learned some very clear things about Yellow Springers: they really know how to fill in for a loss, and celebrate a new joy, and they really read their paper! And we are all so connected! What a great help this community has been for me! — Nancy Peters
I observed this late last winter, maybe in March. An older man (80’s) who owns property and sometimes works across the street from me was loading a lot of heavy items into the back of his pickup truck.This was not unusual. But on this bitterly cold day he had a young man working with him. As I looked more closely at the two of them I saw that they each had one of a matching set of gloves on. I’m not sure who shared with whom but it sure was loving and touching to see. — Beth Holyoke
Back in August of 2008, Chris Till — a carpenter at the time -— was on his way to realizing his goal of becoming a lawyer. He was living in Yellow Springs, had a girlfriend, Whitney, and had just been accepted to law school in Cincinnati. The two of them had been discussing the difficult decision of whether to stay in Yellow Springs or make the move to Cincinnati. Chris was working on a roof on Walnut Street by the laundromat. His car, a 1990 Toyota Camry, had been an unexpected gift, several years earlier, from his friend, Mark Babb, during a financially difficult time for Chris. A year after receiving the car, Chris had accidentally backed it into a tree, damaging a rear tail light.
“The Camry was parked out in front the day I was deciding, should I move to Cincy,” recalls Chris. “There, on the hood of the car was the 20-year-old replacement piece for my car with a note. The note said, ‘Hi. I see your car is missing a rear tail light assembly. This should be the replacement. If you can’t get it in, let me know and I can help. I have lots of parts. Feel free to call me.’”
The note was written by Joe Ayres and included Joe’s phone number. Chris had never met Joe.
“It blew me away,” Chris told me. “I was thinking I’d be moving to Cincy and someone would be stealing my tail light. And here someone was giving me a tail light and offering to put it in. It’s a hundred dollar car part. The thought of moving to Cincy went up in smoke in that moment.”
Chris and Joe have been friends ever since. When the car died, Chris gave it to Joe.
Chris is now a practicing lawyer, married to Whitney, living in Yellow Springs, and they have a two-year-old boy. Chris says he has seen the car recently in town. He’s not sure who the owner is, but the car is alive and running and sporting a very unique Canada bumper sticker. — Susan Gartner
Please note the kindness of Andree Bognar, Joan Chappelle and Fran LaSalle, who came together and pulled off the Community Thanksgiving dinner this year in the nick of time. (Long-time co-chair Dayna Foster was teaching in China.) We all stress over our dinner for five or 10 or even 20. But they oversaw all the arrangements for some 350 community members who attended. There were also a number of key volunteers who helped with all the planning and logistics. And trusty local merchants chipped in with contributions. Their selflessness made possible another great Thanksgiving dinner for the community to enjoy. — Barbara Boettcher
What does it take to make a magical holiday evening for 90 people? That also is a fundraising event for the local arts?
For the YSAC Heartstring Concert and Cookie Bake off and Holiday Art Jumble, it took:
100 generous villagers who pulled fine art and crafts and arty stuff out of their closets and dusted it off and donated it to the gallery. It took Matt Cole storing boxes of important Jumble stuff from last year and carting them back to us this year and Bing Design volunteering to make flyers. It took Celeste Lee bringing her huge collection of lace curtains and table cloths for us to swathe the tables in and sprinkle glitter on to make them sparkle.
Eight glorious gallery committee members who worked for four days making the Jumble look beautiful and inviting. Lots of restocking happens after the Jumble opens because just when you think it’s done, people keep bringing in more wonderful stuff.
Ten magnificent gallery hosts who keep the Jumble Sale going all month. Jerome Borchers delivered theater risers for cobbling together a stage. Lara Bauer and Brian Housh decorated the back room at the gallery to make a beautiful holiday space and Lara shopped for the rest of the refreshments. I say “the rest of” because:
Sixteen local bakers created culinary magic and brought platters of six dozen cookies each for the Bake Off. And one professional gluten-free baker (Neighborhood Nest) came from a distance, to donate her basketfull of cookies. One ceramic artist, Dianne Collinson, created three ceramic cookie medals and a second artist, Kathy Moulton, did her computer magic to create three cookie baker awards.
Four magnificent musicians, in the wonderful group “Heartstrings” donated their lovely music for the concert (for the third year!)
Two delightful Antioch College interns, Katie Olson and Jumana Snow, helped plan, set up, clean up and lured one male college student, Guy Mathews to add to his resume “schlepper for the YSAC” as he took out the trash and helped clean up. Village Artisans loaned their urn for the tea (already filled with hot water left over from their Holiday reception that day.)
One patient husband, Steven Deal, who is the “grand schlepper for the arts” brought many things to and from the gallery.
But what really fills me with awe is that this was one event amongst many holiday events that were happening in our village. And they were all are run with a huge amount of volunteers giving us the gift of their time.
What a generous and amazing village we live in! — Nancy Mellon
I’d have to say one of the biggest and best acts of love and kindness this year was the deeply moving, poetic performance on police violence toward black males that Bomani Moyenda and Cheryl Smith presented to the community on Oct. 17 at the Coretta Scott King Center. A powerful gift that galvanized many in attendance into meaningful activism directed toward a solution. — Ed Davis
I came to town around 1972. There was a sign at Bill Duncan Park, or was it at the edge of town, that said “More trees than people.” We know that the Yellow Springs Tree Committee has planted hundreds and hundreds of trees and has lovingly taken care of them especially in the dry periods. We love our trees. They do so much for us. — Suzanne Patterson
We call him “Saint David.” He made his first unannounced visit one snowy morning. He surreptitiously left what would become his trademark: our neatly cleaned driveway, the snow, mounded by his plow, lining the edges. We stood surprised, hobbled with our unnecessary shovels poised for labor.
We spotted our benefactor with the next snowfall, his ruddy face beaming, as he expertly plowed us out again. He returned several times last year and this, modestly discounting his gift to us. He described our relationship as symbiotic: we got our driveway cleared and he got to operate his favorite “boy toy tractor.”
Our lives have been made easier by his labors and our spirits are warmed by the generosity of his kindness. Thank you dear friend -— play on! — Esther & David Battle
The #blacklivesmatter banner on front of the Emporium. This made me SO proud of our town — It took my breath away, and my daughter said, “THAT is AWESOME.” —Jaimie Wilke
I would like to thank Richard Lapedes and Maureen Lynch first of all for all they have done for the community. But in particular I want to acknowledge their recent support of the Community Children’s Center. Truly, if we don’t care for our children as a community, we are headed in a very wrong direction. So Richard and Maureen deserve all of our thanks for assisting the center to continue as it finds its way into a new future. —Marianne MacQueen
Migiwa Orimo continually creates a visual background for social justice and progressive values in our village. Most recently, she lent her considerable illustrative abilities to the ongoing vigil that seeks justice for the killing of John Crawford. But trace her array of posters, signs, flyers and banners back — the successful effort to save the Glass Farm, the timely work of the Nonstop Institute, numerous elections and anti-war protests — and you’ll find in her work easy-to-read statements that add elegant design for broadminded causes. Her artistic contribution is a public kindness that strives to make a better world for us all. —John Fleming
Last winter’s snow seemed endless. Shoveling strained backs for sure. But on the sidewalks of the block bordered by West Center College, Xenia Avenue and West North College and High Street, a good Samaritan named Jeff Huntington regularly fired up his snow blower, and plowed it around the block, saving his neighbors much strain and time. — Steve Bognar
I left the YS Federal Credit Union in May. Even though I live in Xenia, after almost 15 years of the village, Yellow Springs was and is my home. Acts of kindness: I have a ton of them. I won’t mention all, but one of the most memorable came from RC Worrell on my last day at the credit union. He came in and thanked me for my service in Yellow Springs. I think he was about 7 years old when I started there. I watched many of the little ones at that time grow up, go off to college, get married, have their own kids. I have made so many friends there, I can’t even begin to imagine my life without all of you. Whenever possible I will be sitting on the bench in front of Current Cuisine waiting to see all the faces I grew to love so very much. Happy holidays and may the village continue to be the best place ever. — Cindy Sanford
I was touched by everything that Karen Crist and the Simply Women Ohio organization do for the community and how they reached out and became a part of every girl on my Yellow Springs High School varsity softball team when they donated funds that enabled our team to purchase team T-shirts and sweatshirts for our 2014 softball season.— Jimmy DeLong
On an early Saturday morning in November, about 30-plus people met at the newly completed Home, Inc house on Cemetery Street. We had coffee and donuts while we painted the interior walls of the house. This home is intended for the Wyant family who were all present that day — their children happily singing songs while progressively adding more spilled paint to their hair and hands. We were a diverse mix of folks — men and women from the very young to some elders; mostly people I knew, many I didn’t, but enjoyed meeting. We all had a good time working together, and by mid-afternoon, we had completed painting the entire home interior with primer. This experience for me was an example of what is truly meant by community. It was inspiring to participate with this group of volunteers working to help a young family be able to move into their new home. It made me realize why I support Home Inc, and moreover, why I choose to live in this village. — Vickie Hennessy