People seem willing to look out for each other in the Mid-Columbia. We like that. Sometimes people band together for a cause, like a fundraiser. Sometimes it is just one person stopping to rescue a lost pet.
In either case, we're grateful.
We're thankful to live in a community where people see a problem and get involved in finding a solution.
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For example, Bruce and Judy Donner were out for their morning constitution and saw a llama in the irrigation canal.
They recognized that was a problem and immediately set about working on the solution -- which eventually involved the Kennewick police, a boom truck from the Kennewick Irrigation District and a diver from the Columbia Basin Dive Rescue.
It's pretty easy to turn away from other people's problems. It takes effort and an emotional investment to involve yourself.
But it's the right thing to do.
And we see it over and over again in this community.
One problem that is ongoing is the need for blood donors. Summer is an especially challenging time to meet the country's blood supply because people are active and accidents happen.
Another drain on the Red Cross, specific to our area, is the relief efforts for the Taylor Bridge fire.
Many Mid-Columbians stepped up to both challenges by donating blood and/or money.
If you regularly donate blood, thank you. If you don't, here's some interesting numbers to consider.
About 70 percent of adults in this country are eligible to donate blood. Only 5 percent do.
However, your chances of needing to receive blood at sometime in your life is 25 percent.
Many people who don't donate say it's because they don't like needles. That's good. (The people who like needles make us a little uneasy.)
But if you can donate, do. You never know when it's going to be your turn to be on the receiving end of the needle.
Crooks are using the Internet to commit crimes so it only seems fair that police are using it to fight crime.
We're intrigued by a new program in Richland that will allow businesses and community watch groups to communicate with each other and the police about what's going on around them.
It's the high tech (and useful) version of the nosy neighbor.
It's also a way for these groups to receive updates from the police about what they are working on.
Residents can also sign up to receive alerts about crime, either through a text message or an e-mail.
It's not a replacement for calling 911 while a crime is being committed, but it's one more way for people to take some ownership of their community.
All the programs in the world can't replace an active, concerned citizenry. After all, people still have to be observant and be willing to file a report.
People still need to be involved. And we're grateful to live in an area where folks seem to share that mindset.