Tahlequah Daily Press

January 16, 2013

Tell us about random acts of kindness


TAHLEQUAH — Do you know of someone who has enfolded the concept of “pay it forward” – who has engaged in a random act of kindness you think our readers should know about?

From years of listening to your stories, we know plenty of Good Samaritans live in this area. Whether it be collecting money for a destitute family over the holidays, or saving a dog from a burning building, many people just seem attuned to tend to the needs of others.

They don’t often talk about themselves, or brag about what they’ve done to help the world around them. Indeed, boasting would be quite out of character for these individuals. But that doesn’t mean their stories aren’t worth telling.

The Daily Press is about to embark upon a series of short stories taking a peek at the more selfless souls among us. We’ve already announced our intentions on Facebook, and our initial feeler seemed to generate a bit of confusion. Perhaps a more detailed explanation is warranted.

Some people we’ve talked to about this project thought it might be related to a monthly series we already publish wherein we profile area volunteers. That series, which always appears in a Tuesday edition, features folks who are involved in local civic and charitable organizations; some of them volunteer with several groups.  

The volunteer profile is a permanent series that we believe has staying power, especially as area workers retire and begin looking for ways to contribute to the community during their golden years. In contrast, this new series is a short-term campaign.

This new campaign is also not aimed at recognizing groups or local charitable organizations, or people who do general work with them. While these groups and people make vital contributions, and may be worthy of feature stories on their own merit, they do not exactly fit the “random acts” concept. The “pay it forward” series is short-term project, designed to spotlight specific – and sometimes profound – acts undertaken by individuals. Often these will be spontaneous and unbidden, spur-of-the-moment actions that occur in response to a specific need. Think about the Good Samaritan story in the gospels, and you’ll grasp the gist of it.

If you know someone who fits the bill, email Managing Editor Kim Poindexter at kpoindexter@cnhi.com. If you’d like, you can write a small story about the person you want to recognize, and send us a photo. We’ll credit you with a byline for your efforts to put it in your own words! This would probably have greater meaning to readers, and to the person you’re honoring.

But if you don’t feel comfortable with that, you can simply explain why a particular person should be featured, and provide us with contact information so we can touch base with the person. We ask that you do not submit the names of Good Samaritans you already know would wish to keep their contributions anonymous; we don’t want to embarrass or put anyone on the spot.

Once we get several qualifying responses, we’ll choose the best ones, and we’ll publish as many as we can over the duration of the project.

We look forward to hearing about some standout folks in our community – and telling others about them.