Grateful for good news amid the bad

Published 10:32 pm Friday, May 20, 2011

Working at a newspaper, you’d think that I would at least try to pay attention to the news of the day. But just like anyone else, I often find it monotonous to continue reading about all the negative things that fill media outlets.

From dipping stocks and soaring gas prices, to what seem like hourly reports of bombs killing people around the world, to recent predictions that today is the day the world will end, I find it far too depressing to catch up on current events.

So it’s refreshing to get a chance to read about good news coming out of Suffolk.

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Don’t get me wrong. The amount of crime reports isn’t shrinking and we’ve got plenty of reminders of just how difficult it is to be in the world today. But that’s why every ray of hope is worth holding on to.

Take the recent news about a fund drive at the Walmart on Main Street. That store has pledged $60,000 to the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters and, so far, it has met the daily amounts necessary to reach that goal. The real news is that the store has raised more money in a yearly campaign than every Walmart in the nation, including those in far larger cities.

And while the employees deserve much of the credit for that incredible achievement, I think those numbers also say a lot about Suffolk and the people that make up this city.

Frances Shelton, a store zone supervisor who is heading the collection efforts, agrees.

“I would credit our success to the cashiers and customers,” she said. “Most of the money is being raised through the registers.”

So what can we take from their success? I’ve taken the liberty of throwing together a little list.

  • It never hurts to ask: Most of the money that has been raised came from cashiers asking a simple question before giving customers a final total.
  • Every bit counts: Most people aren’t giving more than a few dollars here and there. But those few dollars have been amassed into more than $28,000 since May 1.
  • Being generous is easy: In this case, all it takes is a simple “yes,” and presto, you’ve donated to helping a hospital care for ill children.
  • And, maybe, all it takes is one ray of good news to make reading — and creating — the newspaper worth it.