Our Voice: We're thankful for people who take care of others in ways big and small

The world has some pretty self-sufficient people in it. It also has some who need a helping hand.

In fact, during the course of our lives, we're likely to find ourselves in both positions.

We appreciate those who can give -- and those who need the help. It's a great opportunity for both.

School as a safe haven

Truth be told, school can be a living hell. When the bullying or the teasing gets to be too much, obtaining an education might not seem like a compelling reason to put yourself through that torment every morning.

It can lead to substance abuse, depression and suicide.

But it doesn't have to be that way.

If you remember high school fondly, you were either at the top of the food chain or you have mercifully been granted some degree of forgetfulness. (A class reunion can cure you of that.)

Kids can be mean. It was true then, and it's true now.

And, for better or worse, school is a microcosm of our world.

Things do get better when you leave high school, but even adults have to deal with other adults and their egos. Power struggles sometimes seem like the axis on which the world spins.

We're glad to see the student leaders at Southridge High School working to make high school better for everyone.

Their four-week effort is aimed at helping teens (most of whom are going through an awkward stage anyway) to feel safe and confident.

We hope it also teaches would-be bullies how to get along and play nice with others, now and down the road.

Reach Center tours

Even without a building, the Hanford Reach Interpretive Center is "reaching out."

The main goal of the Reach is to tell the story of the Mid-Columbia and to educate people.

Once their building is complete, it will be easier to reach that goal. But progress isn't dependent on having a permanent home.

So in the meantime, we're glad to see the center sponsoring lectures, tours and activities that educate and tell a story.

Big donation

Secrets are hard to keep. Especially ones you're excited about.

We're thinking the Tri-City Union Gospel Mission has got to be pretty excited about its new $1 million pledge.

Sometimes you see large donations from anonymous sources. We suspect there are a lot more donations from benefactors who prefer to remain unknown.

So to those who give, anonymously and otherwise, we say thank you.

Whether it's a million dollars or just a few, the generosity of strangers improves the lives of many in the Mid-Columbia.

We're grateful for both.