Thankful for the power of people working together

We are grateful to live where people are involved in good causes. Sometimes, people pull together for a friend or family member. Other times, people are pulling for complete strangers.

Regardless of the relationship, one thing is sure: We are stronger together than the sum of our individual efforts.

Widows and orphans

Although the faith-based group Both Hands has helped more than 100 families defray adoption costs across the country, Pasco's Dean and Janice Walker are the first couple in Washington to be involved in the program.

And the help around the house that Steffani English received was appreciated.

It's a pretty sweet deal all the way around.

Someone applies for help with the cost of their adoption, but to qualify, they have to find a deserving widow and fix up her home.

The materials and labor are donated by the community and any sponsorships go to the family that's adopting.

It takes a lot of volunteers and financial donations to pull one of these together.

It's not unlike a golf tournament -- except that instead of asking for someone to sponsor you to play golf, volunteers seek sponsors who will pay for them to work on someone's house.

Some people can give time, and some people can give money. We're grateful that in this community the giving spirit is alive and well.

Humane Society change

Ed Dawson is leaving the Humane Society to take on a new role at the Boys & Girls Clubs.

Dawson has been with the Humane Society for six years, and those years have been big ones for the Mid-Columbia's "no-kill" animal adoption center.

The most notable change is the shelter's new digs -- which were paid for largely through fundraisers Dawson spearheaded. It's a big deal for this community.

We don't know what he's got up his sleeve for the Boys & Girls Clubs, but his contributions to the community have been noteworthy so far. Thank you.

Gangs and crime

Many of us are concerned about gangs in the Tri-Cities (or at least we should be). Few of us are doing anything about them.

According to one former gang-member-turned-pastor, Jesse J. Campos, any anti-gang initiative has to be comprehensive. It's going to take all of us.

It's going to take mentors and police and courts and schools and church groups and service clubs and employers.

It's going to take organization and collaboration.

And it's going to be well worth the combined effort.

When we can reclaim a lost youth, it makes our neighborhoods safer, lowers our taxes and gives us a leader for tomorrow.

On that same wavelength, this week was the 29th Annual Night Out, which is sponsored by police agencies to pull citizenry together.

Again, the rallying cry is that we all have be involved in the fight against crime.

Specific suggestions for Night Out are commonsense rules for safety and include getting to know your neighbors -- knowing who should be in your neighborhood is a big help to identifying suspicious behavior -- and locking your doors.

Yes, each person needs to be taking personal responsibility. But we also need to be looking out for each other.

We need to provide a safety net for the law-abiding and a ladder that people who have fallen can use to climb back up.