Much of our everyday lives are filled with the mundane. We get up. We go to work. We come home. We go to bed.
But in that routine, there's often something we can do for others to lighten their loads.
Service helps other people and it just plain feels good to the giver.
You could say that service is self-serving.
Light the night
We're grateful for all the ways people brighten the lives of others. But we recognize there are dark days too. The Domestic Violence Awareness vigil last week reminds us that people in our community have died at the hands of someone close to them.
And for each of those 34 victims, there are many more living in dangerous situations in the Mid-Columbia.
Usually, when it's too late, friends and family members will reflect back and ask if there was anything they could have done.
While someone else's violent choices are out of our control, there usually are signs of trouble. We can learn to recognize those signs and take appropriate action.
We are grateful for those in this community who offer help and support to people who find themselves in danger from domestic violence.
Stray cats and dogs are a growing problem in this community. People either dump their pets, or feral animals breed. But the result is our homeless pet population is expanding.
It's a big enough problem that several organizations are trying to combat it -- and there is always more work to do.
The most recent inroad is to obtain a vet who will be available to do full-time, low-cost spays and neuters. Welcome to the community, Dr. Sheila Doyle.
Prevent Homeless Pets also has secured some permanent housing for the organization so volunteers will have a home base to work from.
We're grateful for people who make things happen.
Snowboarders in Kennewick
As far as making things happen goes, who would have suspected we could have a snowboard competition in downtown Kennewick in October -- or any time of year, really?
Well, that person is named Eric Schultheiss, but he readily acknowledges the event wouldn't have happened without many sponsors and volunteers.
So thanks to businesses that sponsor events. And thanks to volunteers who put in hours of effort.
But also thanks to the idea guy.
It's one thing to have a great idea. It's another thing to make it happen -- especially a first-time event made more difficult by the requirement to find snow (or something close to it.)
Here's to firsts and to dreaming big.
Volunteers fix up playground
It's inspiring but not uncommon for a community to come together to build something special. But it's a little harder to get people excited about maintaining the project after the shine wears off. It seems momentum is easier to create than to extend.
Twelve years ago, parents and volunteers put together a playground in Prosser. Now it needs work. A lot of work.
Volunteers to the rescue again.
Building a playground without being committed to maintaining it is a lot like giving someone a puppy as a gift. Sure it's cute, but it's also a long-term obligation.
So to anyone who has enjoyed the park in the past 12 years or appreciates that kids have had some place to play off the streets of Prosser, organizers for the maintenance project still are looking for help.
We're thankful for people who give of their time in the short run and the long term.
If you wanted to attend Miss Tri-Cities Outstanding Teen Taylor Plunkett's fundraising concert for Down syndrome research, you're too late. It was last week.
If you still want to donate to the cause, go to emmaswish.org. You're never too late for that.
There's no shortage of worthy causes and benefits in the Mid-Columbia, so there are lots of opportunities to get involved.
But we are especially gratified to see the rising generation taking the lead in helping others. We think it bodes well for the future.