[r54] Something to Brighten Your Day (3/27/2009)

Friday, March 27, 2009

Start Date: 3/27/2009 All Day
End Date: 3/27/2009
The Statehouse is buzzing in the last weeks of session.  We're dealing with issues that affect the lives of families all over the state, issues like government reform, property taxes and unemployment insurance.  And while we should be busy debating these issues and finding meaningful, compromised solutions, for the most part, we're busy with political shenanigans. 

"Bipartisanship" is word politicians like to throw around, but it doesn't often happen.  When it does, I've found that there's probably some sort of political motivation, some sort of selfish, tactical move behind it. 

And that can make a person a little cynical, to say the least. 

Yet, there are moments that restore my faith in the kindness and decency of people, even in the state capital, surrounded by so many powerful people.

Last week, there was a story that just barely made it into the papers.  It was covered on some Indianapolis television and news but certainly didn't stretch as far as House District 54. 

On Tuesday night, a stranger dressed in plain clothes walked into the Statehouse.  He approached the men and women on the Statehouse night custodial staff.  He handed these men and women an envelope and said, "Don't throw this away.  It isn't trash."

When these folks opened the envelopes, they each discovered a single, crisp $100 dollar bill.  Each of them also found a note that read: "Thank you for your service and dedication to the citizens of Indiana!"  The message was signed, "Average Citizen."

No one had ever seen the man before.  The event is still a mystery.  Once police determined the money was not stolen or counterfeit, the workers were able to keep their gifts. 

Closer to home, we've had our own good Samaritan who has dedicated himself to making sure the families who live in Garden City community just outside of Richmond have good, clean water. 

For years, these people have lived with water containing three times the allowable level of arsenic.  This poses a huge threat to the health of the families who live in Garden City.  Unfortunately, Wayne County's health department can't do much about it, because it's a state issue.  At the state level, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management is trying to work with the community to find a solution that won't condemn this community and force these families to lose their homes.

In the meantime, Bob Wotherspoon, who has a farm near Garden City, has been bringing truckloads of bottled water and Gatorade to these families with a program he started called "Give a Dollar for Clean Water."  To many of the families in Garden City, Bob is a lifesaver. 

Both of these stories are about regular, everyday people who did something good and extraordinary not because they hoped to gain from it, but because they cared.  They just wanted to help or brighten someone's day.

These are the kind of stories that make you want to pass it on, to do something good for someone unexpectedly, just because you can.  This is the way I want to remember Hoosiers when I walk into the Statehouse every week:  Good, kind, honest people trying to get by and do the right thing.

Before I go, I want to bring to light another group of Samaritans who are working to save the Knightstown Soldier's and Sailor's Children's Home against all odds. 

The ISSCH Alumni Association and the Indiana chapter of the American Legion are gathering for another rally to save the Home at noon Monday, March 30, in the Statehouse.  If you can, you should come and add your support.

I hope to see you at the rally!