Good deeds, indeed -- Gazette.Net



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A 6-year-old Bethesda girl gives the money she made from her lemonade stand to a charity that helps at-risk children and families.

The business community — including a hair salon and winery — rallies with fundraisers to help the Kensington family of a 39-year-old husband and father who died unexpectedly.

Twenty-nine youngsters and adults spend their Saturday morning cleaning up a lake in Montgomery Village.

Residents of a retirement village take pizza to the Sandy Spring Volunteer Fire Department, just to say “thanks” for all that the firefighters do to make the community safer.

At a time when politics, crime, war, immigration battles and an airliner attack dominate the headlines, it’s helpful, and healthful, to step back every now and then and look at all the good around us.

And there’s plenty to go around.

Sometimes, the impulse to help others comes from children who just don’t know any better than to be kind to others, especially those in need. Sometimes that basic human urge survives all of the way to adulthood, with grownups also taking up the charitable mission.

Montgomery County residents, young and old, continue to help their neighbors, whether those neighbors live down the block or on the other side of the world.

Besides the aforementioned examples, consider these:

• An 11-year-old Rockville girl donates a bicycle she won to a Filipino student she doesn’t even know, but who needs a bike to get to high school.

• An Eagle Scout from Sandy Spring goes to Nigeria to distribute bed nets to help stem the spread of malaria there.

• A Silver Spring college student spends six weeks teaching high school in Tanzania to help break down cultural barriers.

• A Rockville youngster inspires her classmates to make ceramic elephants, which they sell to raise money to help rescue and care for abused elephants in Thailand.

Of course, this sampling doesn’t include the day-in, day-out efforts of so many in the county who volunteer their time and energy to help the hungry, sick, homeless or otherwise less fortunate neighbors.

Taking the time to reflect on such endeavors can help inoculate us, at least in part, from the cynicism that can seem so prevalent in society. It also can spark us to join in their efforts — and perhaps even launch new ones — to help make the county an even better place to live and work.