Show thanks by awarding good deeds

Joshua Ledbetter gets fitted for shoes by Master Mason James White. (Contributed)

Joshua Ledbetter gets fitted for shoes by Master Mason James White. (Contributed)


In the few short months that I’ve been with the Shelby County Reporter, I can’t begin to count the number of people I’ve met who seem to care more about others than they do themselves.

Take, for example, James White and Kim Mashego, both of whom I met this week.

White is a Master Mason and a member of The Scottish Rite, a branch of the Masonic Fraternity. Alongside a host of other Masons, he helped fit foster children with shoes Nov. 9 as part of the group’s annual community outreach program. Nearly 100 kids will be given brand-new shoes in December because of the group’s efforts.

Mashego, the director of the Shelby County Department of Human Resources, was also a part of the event, helping connect the Masons with foster families throughout Shelby County to make the event possible.

But I didn’t just run into Mashego once this week. I saw her again at the Columbiana public library Nov. 21, where she was helping coordinate a celebration in honor of National Adoption Month, which is celebrated annually to honor those who help connect foster children with loving families.

Shelby County Probate Judge Jim Fuhrmeister, who was adopted himself, served as the guest speaker for the event, and I don’t think he could have said it any better.

Speaking to DHR employees and foster and adoptive parents, he said, “The impact that you are having is so much greater than you can really see or imagine.”

“We all get caught in our day-to-day routines,” he added. “We all get caught in our daily traps. But at Thanksgiving, when you gather around your table, just pause for a minute and think about what you’ve done.”

I ask you to pause and think about what others have done.

This past week, the South Shelby Chamber of Commerce began accepting nominations for its annual Diamond Awards, which highlights good people doing good things in Shelby County.

While it may be too late to nominate someone for a Diamond Award – you’d have to check with South Shelby Executive Director April Stone to be sure – consider jumping at the opportunity the next time you’re given the opportunity of nominating someone for an award.

We all know how thankful and honored we would be to win an award ourselves, so why not make that special moment possible for someone else? It’s Thanksgiving. Let’s show those doing good work that we are indeed thankful for what they do.


Stephanie Brumfield is a staff writer for the Shelby County Reporter. She can be reached at 669-3131 ext. 16.