Searching for a few good people

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 3, 2004

Good neighbors are hard to come by. Like needles in a haystack, they are often hard to find.

That is why I am asking for your help.

In a day and time when bad news is more prevalent that good, we would appreciate your help in finding a few unsung heroes who through their words and deeds make a difference in the lives of their fellow man.

This good neighbor could be a person down the street from you who takes time each spring and summer to mow the lawn of an elderly neighbor.

They could be a Sunday school teacher who is making our county a better place one precious child at a time. They could be a person in your office who skips lunch once a week to deliver meals on wheels. In short, a good neighbor is someone who invests a part of their life to make someone else’s brighter.

A couple of examples of the type of good neighbors we are seeking:

Cecilia Etheridge. Many of you may not know Cecilia, perhaps even some of you she helped to save through her work at the Alabaster Red Cross.

Cecilia, along with countless other Red Cross volunteers, work to make certain that when we need blood it is available. So what makes Cecilia such a good neighbor? Simple. Cecilia performs her volunteer work with a spirit of joy seldom encountered.

Those lucky enough to be greeted by Cecilia after making a donation will no doubt receive the warmest of &uot;thank you&uot; and the sincerest of smiles. You see, Cecilia reminds us all how good it feels to give to others; she teaches us that lesson through her own life and how she lives it each day.

Just recently, on the day of her 91st birthday, Cecilia and her friends at the Red Cross celebrated this special occasion with, of course, a blood drive; she did not want fancy presents or flashy parties just simply the gift of life for others.

Leslie Whiting. Leslie is a city councilman in Columbiana but that is perhaps not how he is best known. A typical politician he is not.

You see, Leslie is a busy man who somehow never seems to be in a rush. Leslie is a minister at his church. He is also an active member of the local jailhouse ministry; ministering to those many of us seek to forget.

I met Leslie some two years ago at the Columbiana Post Office; he does a little bit of everything there, but I best know him from his work at the front counter greeting and serving customers. Leslie has a special manner in which he carries himself that is uplifting to those around him.

If I am having a particularly bad day at the office, I will often look for an excuse to run to the post office expecting that a passing greeting from Leslie might just be the thing that turns a sour day into a bright one. It works and I highly endorse it.

Makes you feel better just reading about them doesn’t it?

Let’s celebrate our county’s good neighbors together.

Please pass along your good neighbor suggestions to me at the email address below or you can mail or phone them in to our office.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Tim Prince is the publisher of the Shelby County Reporter. He can be reached at