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Grateful for the gift

If you’re troubled by what’s been going on in the world lately, look close to home for hope and inspiration. A new playground was built in Western Tidewater on Thursday through a partnership of area businesses, government and individuals working in concert to build up the city.

Too often, corporations are unfairly seen as being concerned only with profits.

But the Franklin Mill of International Paper, along with Dominion Energy, prove how wrong that thinking can be.

Rather than give themselves a party to celebrate their fifth anniversary back in Western Tidewater, the IP employees decided to create a project that expresses their gratitude for being able to serve the region and beyond.

Sponsorship from the foundations for IP, Dominion Energy and Obici Healthcare Foundation, Franklin-Southampton Charities and other private contributors helped make the idea a reality.

They were not alone, for help came from the City of Franklin, kaBOOM! and the scores of volunteers who invested themselves into creating the facility.

We hope all this will serve as an inspiration for other businesses — large and small — to invest themselves more deeply by working with community members to find ways that can enhance Western Tidewater. Those ideas need not be as grand as a new playground, but can be as simple as supporting a service organization.

The park was a thank-you gift from IP and partners, but it’s the children and adults who use it that will be grateful for such generosity.