Sometimes the news — both locally and from around the world — is so negative, so depressing that some might be tempted to withdraw from even following current events.
The horrible and continuing massacres in Syria and Sudan; the never-ending economic woes; the continuing gun violence in Louisville; the growing political tensions of all kind in this presidential election year are enough to tempt one to become a “futilitarian.” “Join Us….or not. It really doesn’t matter,” is this fictional society’s motto.
But good news can be found if you look for it. In fact, we’ve provided quite a bit of it in recent editions of The Record. In case you missed some of it, here is a litany of positive things worth celebrating:
- Nearly 700 people have registered to potentially be bone marrow donors following a story in the May 31 issue of the paper by staff writer Jessica Able. The piece chronicled the on-going fight for life of six-month-old Addison Lynn Miles who is suffering from a rare form of leukemia.
Addison needs a bone marrow transplant and members of her family do not have the matching blood and biological chemistry that would allow them to help. So the people of St. Michael Church organized a bone marrow registry drive for June 3, and the community responded. In addition to those who registered to be potential donors, 88 pints of blood were also collected and Cheryl Bruner, one of the St. Michael parishioners who helped organize the event, told Able last week that “a couple read the article in The Record and drove up from Vine Grove, Ky., to register and give blood.”
People respond when others need help — it’s one of our church’s greatest attributes.
- In that same issue of the paper, Record Assistant Editor Marnie McAllister noted that the staff of Catholic Charities Migration and Refugee Services was honored for their work with refugees from Burma by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
The award was presented to the staff members last month in Washington, D.C., during the 2012 National Convening of Catholic bishops and agencies that work with refugees. The story noted that refugees from Burma have been coming to Louisville — and being helped by Catholic Charities and Kentucky Refugee Ministries — since 2007. Many who arrive here have spent decades in refugee camps, and they represent a variety of ethnic groups. Chris Clements, a Catholic Charities staff member who helps with the resettlement of refugees, noted that Burmese arrivals are “Karen, Karenni, Chin, Ming and other ethnic groups … and all these groups speak different languages.”
Part of the Catholic Charities resettlement program includes identifying and developing leaders within the Burmese community. “We are not working for the award,” said Darko Mihaylovich, director of Migration and Refugee Services. “But it is nice to be recognized.”
It is recognition that is well deserved.
- Last week in the June 7 issue, McAllister wrote about the struggling St. Anthony Outreach Center’s resurrection, thanks to a $50,000 gift from Republic Bank and the on-going efforts of businessman and community leader Charles Johnson.
The center serves children in the Portland, Russell and Shawnee neighborhoods, and some of the more depressing news of this spring has involved those communities. So there can be no doubt that the center is a bit of an oasis in a part of our town that needs all the help it can get. McAllister wrote that the St. Anthony Center was faced with closing its doors before the bank and Charlie Johnson stepped in to help. But that help — valuable as it is — is only a temporary solution.
The good news is that the doors of the center are still open. But the not-so-good news is that more money is needed to secure the center’s future.
- Late last month another Record story, this one by Jessica Able, noted the 10-year history of Operation Support Peace, a program launched nearly a decade ago by the staff, families and children of St. Edward School. This is an effort that should fill the people of St. Edward with pride; it’s one the entire Archdiocese of Louisville can celebrate.
In 2003, Command Sergeant Major Ronnie Curry was set to begin his first tour of duty in Iraq, and he was concerned that some men and women in his command would be homesick. He is also the brother-in-law of Joyce Curry, an administrative assistant at St. Edward School, and he asked if she could get some of the students there to make cards and pictures to be sent overseas to Curry’s troops.
What resulted was Operation Support Peace, a school- and parish-based program that has completed more than 115 projects in support of the troops, including care packages, toy drives and Christmas cards. Last month, Curry returned to the school to thank the community for its support, just as they have thanked him and all those who have served our military, for their service.
So, regardless of the economic news, the war in Afghanistan, the violence in Sudan and Syria, or the political diatribes and animus here at home, some recent news is cause for pride. And hope.