Kindness lights village in 2016
- Published: December 29, 2016
The news of the world may be bleak, the sky may be dark, but in Yellow Springs, the light of kindness abounds. Each year in the holiday season we put out a call to you, dear villagers, for stories of acts of kindness that you’ve witnessed or experienced during the year. And you responded, showing that once again in 2016, this little village had a very big heart.
Here at the News we’re so touched by these stories that we’re thinking of running them all year round. What do you think? Let us know.
* * *
Sometimes your car lock freezes and you have to abandon your car across town. Sometimes your child is really sick with a fever. And sometimes they happen at the same time, for example, last week. Thankfully there is never a shortage of people willing to help here. While I normally don’t like to ask, in this case I didn’t have a choice! I was rescued by the following villagers: Don Hollister, Lori Askeland, Chris and Andrea Hudson, Karla and Jon Horvath and Rebecca Kuder, who, variously, troubleshooted my car problems, brought me granola and a forehead thermometer, went out to Downing’s to buy a new key battery, met AAA and gave me rides. I am so grateful!
— Megan Bachman
* * *
Just after Thanksgiving, Ransome Phelps — who grew up in the village — made an announcement via a Facebook post that he’d like to make someone’s Christmas brighter by delivering a tree. I know a young, single mother with four very young children, and she said though she and her kids would all love a tree, their apartment complex would only allow an artificial one. “No problem,” said Ransome. Not only did he get them an artificial tree, he also provided them with a set of furniture when he heard that they had almost none. He’s delivering all of it this Thursday, with the help of a friend and the loan of an extra truck from villager Bob Baldwin. Here’s what he said when I thanked him via text:
Ransome: “OK one way or another we will get it done. The guy that lives where the furniture is might be able to help too.
If we have both trucks it can be done in one trip that’s all, if we have people that is what will help. It’s cold out and hard to round up people. But we can do this.”
Sam: “You are super kind to do this. Thank you, thank you, thank you! She is such a sweet young mom, and this makes her so happy!”
Ransome: “No prob. It’s what I do. I don’t have family close so I like to do things for others, sorry it’s taken so long.”
— Sam Eckenrode
* * *
So many of my neighbors have been kind to me these past weeks in my illness. But one I wish to report on is Joori Flateau, my next door neighbor who is a doctor at Veterans Hospital. She has come over several times, giving me food, advice, massage, both at night and early in the morning. She has a very busy schedule and a child to care for, yet she made time for me in a very special way. Thank you, Joori.
— Pat Brown
* * *
During my employment at the Village, I’ve witnessed various Village employees and police officers reach into their pockets and pull out cash to pay for pool passes for kids, pay the balance on a utility bill, buy someone groceries after being in the house and seeing there was no food, buy coats or shoes for kids, buy snacks for the Youth Center because they know it will be the only dinner some of the kids will eat that evening, and the list goes on. These kind gestures take place behind the scenes every day because there are amazingly kind individuals who work for the Village, and Yellow Springs is fortunate to have them!
— Ruthe Ann Lillich
* * *
When we first moved to Yellow Springs from the country our sweet but determined canines quickly learned to unlatch the gate or dig beneath the fence to run as free spirits do. Our new neighbor came to the rescue quite often on foot or by car chasing them down and bringing them back to their new home alive and unhurt. We felt very lucky and grateful for this friendly and caring act by a stranger who became a friend to us and our dogs. It was the beginning of understanding that Yellow Springs is a place where a sense of community is acted upon with many acts of kindness.
— Pat Stempfly
* * *
This school year, Mrs. Chick’s students at Yellow Springs High School are working with Kathy Kleiser and Josh Hemmelgarn, job coaches from the Greene County Board of Developmental Disabilities. Why? They wanted to know if they could create a volunteer business to aid community businesses, increase disability awareness, and help them learn job skills. With Mrs. Chick’s help, the students created the Bulldog Brigade, a program that helps students with special needs transition from school to real-world work experiences in our community. And thanks to Karen Wintrow of the Yellow Springs Chamber of Commerce, Connie Collett of the Greene County Public Library, and other businesses such as the new Mills Park Hotel, these students are working each week at supervised off-school sites which now gives them great opportunities to build job-readiness skills, and in the future, could possibly employ them. As a parent of a child with special needs, I am very grateful for our teachers, county boards and Yellow Springs businesses for giving these high schoolers opportunities to develop real-world work skills. Thank you.
— Debra Williamson
* * *
I want to thank all the people who helped me online and off as I went through breast cancer treatment earlier this year. No matter how seemingly small it meant a whole lot. Several people drove me to radiation treatment, shared their advice and experience, crocheted or knitted boobs for my yarnbomb trees, made me lunch, told me jokes, gave me a hug, asked how I was, gave me a smile, gave me courage. There are too many to name but they know who they are and for the person or persons who stuck chairs in my trees, thank you. You gave me the biggest laugh ever.
— Corrine Bayraktaroglu
* * *
On Oct. 1, 2016, Jon Horvath posted on Facebook that he had found a bank card in the ATM machine at the Credit Union. He asked if anyone who knew Tom Osborne could see to it that Tom got in touch with Jon to get his card back. Not only was this a wonderful act of kindness on Jon’s part, but villagers on Facebook who knew Tom commented on the post immediately and tagged me so that I could retrieve the card. Tom and I were touched by the care and attentiveness from all and the efficiency of a small-town communication venue. This could have been a disaster in the wrong hands
— Susan Gartner
* * *
Thank you, Principal Matt Housh, to the staff of Mills Lawn for their leadership, and to the parents and kids that made contributions to the Yellow Springs Food Bank.
This year our community contributed the most ever due to their persistence to collect over 1,500 items. For our small village, this annual drive is a wonderful accomplishment, and an act of kindness that both teaches and models the importance of giving and the impact of kindness.
— Sean and Leslee Creighton
* * *
September 8, 2015, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Chemotherapy made me very sick, and that is when the acts of kindness began. My co-workers at the Antioch School set up a meal train and collected monetary donations. Survivors reached out to offer comfort and advice. Friends and neighbors cared for our daughter when I was at the hospital. My family received numerous meals, bags of groceries, gas cards, gift cards, and more. People I knew well, acquaintances, and complete strangers have supported us through generous, loving acts. Though 2016 has been a tough year, our villagers have demonstrated kindness in a multitude of ways. We are touched and forever grateful.
— Lori Clouse
* * *
One day I had just backed my closing-in-on-20-year-old car out of the driveway when I heard a horrendous noise from the front end and it stopped in the street. It wasn’t but a few minutes until a truck stopped, and two men got out and asked what had happened. One of them lay down in the street and looked under the car to see if he could determine what was wrong, then they both pushed the car off the street out of the way of traffic and hopped back in their truck and went on their way. I was always regretful that I hadn’t got their names in order to thank them publicly, but they made an unnerving experience a lot less so.
— Rebecca Eschliman
* * *
This year my younger son’s Yellow Springs High School intervention class has benefitted greatly from acts of kindness from several village businesses and local organizations. Jody Chick’s high school intervention class is engaged in project-based community employment learning opportunities. The students have been welcomed and matched with work projects and job coaching at various locations including YS Chamber of Commerce, Mills Park Hotel, YS Library, and Kings Yard (I’m sure I’m forgetting some). Some of the work projects are ongoing, with the students working onsite once a week, while receiving training and employment skill feedback. Though many individuals have contributed to this success, I’d like to acknowledge two in particular, Karen Wintrow at the Chamber, and Suzy Butler at Mills Park Hotel. Karen arranged for the group to have matching Bulldog Brigade t-shirts to wear when out on job sites, and set up opportunities for students to visit many local businesses while distributing flyers about Antioch Reunion and Street Fair. Suzy Butler has been my son’s primary contact at Mills Park Hotel, where he has had job training for the last couple of months. Suzy has been welcoming and instructive, and my son is very proud of what he’s accomplishing. These acts of kindness, welcoming and sharing knowledge, are critical to student success. I’m glad to see kindness in action in this way in Yellow Springs.
— Sylvia Ellison