Editorial: Definition of community
It’s odd how, sometimes, the worst in us is what brings out the best in us … the best of us.
Late last month, someone — or perhaps several someones —broke into the Community Budget Center and helped themselves to a television set and an undisclosed amount of cash from the store’s donation box. The culprit or culprits also caused damage to the building itself.
This would be bad enough had it been done to anyone, but to steal from the Community Budget Center — an organization that offers emergency assistance to people in dire need — is about as low as low ever gets, and it’s certainly a fine example of the worst of us.
But we’d much rather write about the best of us.
As details of the burglary emerged, we learned that, as a consequence of this detestable act, the thrift store and the social service organization it supports were not expected to have sufficient funding to provide assistance for the month of June, which would almost certainly have left many or our friends and neighbors in need to remain in need.
Now, however — thanks to a swift and generous response from this amazing community — the center will be able to continue offering its vital services uninterrupted.
Once the news hit the street, the center was inundated by a deluge of donations, including cash, equipment and services. Community Budget Center Executive Director Karen Brown estimated that about $4,000 in donations were received in a little less than a week, buoying the center and allowing its services to continue.
“We have plenty of assistance in June,” Brown told the Craig Press. “It’s been such a blessing. I was so emotional. It was crazy. It just kept coming in.”
The center received monetary donations from Craig Apothecary, Faith Lutheran Church, Great Divide Cleaning Services and the Northwest Colorado Chapter of Parrotheads. In addition, Memorial Regional Health and High Rapid Networks donated equipment to improve the store’s security system, and a number of individuals stopped by the store to offer smaller cash donations.
“What turned out to be a really bad thing just makes the communty shine and shows you how much they care,” Brown noted.
We wholeheartedly agree, though we’re not at all surprised. Time and again, this community has shown what it’s made of — caring, supportive and generous individuals and groups who pull together and help one another in times of need. This incident was no exception.
It’s disgraceful that someone would steal from a facility the serves so many people in need, but it is equally admirable that the community rallied so quickly and so selflessly to get the center back in business.
As a community, we sometimes disagree with one other, and sometimes, these disagreements become heated. But when the chips are down, we stand together, and that’s the definition of community.
There will probably always be those among us who think only of themselves, people who, for whatever reason, believe their own selfish wants outweigh the honest needs of others.
But so long as we continue to respond to such individuals by undoing their evil deeds with compassion and generosity, they will not prevail.