Too often it is said today’s news outlets seek out society’s darker side.
Some believe too much time and space are spent accentuating the negative.
It is assumed the motive is newspaper sales, subscription volume and broadcast ratings.
These questions have stirred debate for centuries and probably will continue to breed discontent among some for centuries more. It is fitting food for thought, but today we have no appetite for such discussion.
Instead, we point to a local story published in Thursday’s edition, one that told a heartwarming tale of people helping people, of a Cleveland business whose employees reached out to a family in need and who dared to take it upon themselves to add a little hope to the life of a woman battling a life-threatening, merciless disease.
She is Carlene Connors, an area resident receiving chemotherapy and radiation treatments following her diagnosis of cancer. Carlene and her husband, George, travel regularly from Riceville to Chattanooga for radiation therapy; she receives her chemotherapy by wearing a pump.
Obviously, private fundraising can do little to dent such medical bills so pharmacy employees at the BI-LO Food Store at Ocoee Crossing took another approach. They raised funds to help pay for fuel to get her to and from Chattanooga for her radiation treatments.
Pharmacist Lindsey Bise told staff writer Joyanna Weber the fundraiser was based on drawing donations for items like a football autographed by University of Tennessee Vols head coach Derek Dooley and a pair of autographed photographs of Condredge Holloway, a former UT quarterback who led three orange-clad squads to a trio of bowl appearances from 1972 to 1974. Holloway was taken in the NFL’s draft in the 12th round but later starred in the Canadian Football League.
The BI-LO pharmacy drawing raised $200.
Denominationally, it is not a large amount of money but to a family struggling to pay high-rising gasoline bills that have grown exponentially over a period of weeks due to medical visits it is a godsend.
And there’s another unseen factor.
Perhaps even more important.
It is emotional support — a message by others, a voice of concern by an outside organization that this person’s life and well-being are important. The message behind their campaign to help the Connors family is priceless.
We certainly understand too the drawing winners — Bob Campbell, Myra Rasmussen and Nick Price — are not just the victors of a material prize. Their reward is far greater. It is the feel-good that their donation supported others far more in need than themselves.
Other such stories occur regularly in Cleveland, Bradley County and the surrounding area.
Many are told in the pages of this newspaper.
We take great pride in telling them just as we wish the very best to families like George and Carlene Connors and others facing perils and personal crises unique to their lives.
People like those who spearheaded the drive on their behalf understand a fundamental premise — one from which we can all learn — that we are indeed our brother’s keeper.
We show it in our actions.
We voice it in our words.
We feel it in our hearts.
We wish the Connors well in their challenges.
We applaud the employees at the BI-LO pharmacy for their goodwill as well as those who supported their drive.
Future drives in this community by other groups will undoubtedly help even more in need.
It is an attribute inbred in the human spirit.
One that remains alive and well in our hometown community.