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Young citizen inspires us

A local young lady who has yet to reach double digits could teach us all a thing or two about compassion and helping others.

Aubrey Freeman, 8, attends Mack Benn Jr. Elementary School and has been helping others practically her entire life. For her, it’s a simple concept, and it really should be simple for all of us. We could all take note.

Last Saturday, she held a food drive to help feed the homeless. To facilitate social distancing, she set up a tent at the end of her driveway on South Sixth Street, and people pulled up to make donations. She offered them homemade cookies and banana pudding in return.

Aubrey smashed her goal, collecting more than 300 food items as well as used clothes and money donations. Aubrey plans to deliver the donations to a local homeless shelter. This wasn’t even the first time she has helped her community, either; she had a lemonade stand last year.

Aubrey described her efforts, and the motivation behind them, in simple words that were still wise beyond her years: “I want to help the homeless as much as I can. I just don’t want them to have to go around begging for food and stuff.”

Aubrey’s words are a reminder to all of us that one of our main purposes on this earth should be to care about others and do what we can to improve the lives of others. So many people, much older than Aubrey is now, miss that lesson.

In our sinful and broken world, many people harbor hate and hard-heartedness against others for any number of reasons and simply don’t want to help. That’s the worst end of the spectrum. Even on the better end, people who have the capacity for compassion oftentimes get so consumed with their daily lives that they are not doing much to improve others’ lives, either.

But young Aubrey Freeman, age 8, has broken the mold and put her compassion into action at such a young age. Her family should be proud to have raised this extraordinary young lady, and we are proud to say she’s a member of the community we serve. We look forward to great things in the future from her.