The ripple effect on a community

Published 9:36 am Tuesday, September 6, 2022

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There is something special about being part of a community. It gives people a sense of pride and belonging. The love and care that people put into their community helps the community thrive, and it can have a ripple effect and even impact future generations.

The whole world is still recovering from 2020. It was a dark time filled with fear, isolation and loneliness. Experts suggest that the pandemic led to a lack of community among people. They say that society has become less compassionate and caring than it once was. However, this doesn’t seem to be true here in Shelby County and its neighboring communities. In fact, it appears the opposite is true.

In the past few weeks, big businesses, small businesses, local celebrities and pretty much everyone in between has been giving back to their communities. Whether it is helping out a neighbor, supporting local fundraisers, or organizing a big event, people are coming together and showing what big hearts they have.

Spire is always looking for ways to get involved in the community. This past August, Spire employees participated in a two day clean-up of the Cahaba River. They braved the heat and got into canoes to help remove tires, bed frames and other debris that was swept down the river. Most importantly, it helped create awareness of the nonprofit Cahaba River Society which, for four decades, helps protect the community’s watershed. These types of community involvement impacts everyone.

It isn’t just big companies that have been giving back to the community. The owners of Pelham’s Cream and Cones Ice Cream Lounge give out scoops of ice cream to elementary school children. Believe it or not, going to get a single scoop of ice cream is a privilege that some people don’t have, and this Pelham ice cream parlor’s involvement in local schools helps children in poorer demographic areas get ice cream that they wouldn’t ordinarily be able to get. Even a single scoop can make a difference and put a smile on a child’s face. But this is about more than just ice cream, this helps build connections and promotes generosity in the community. Cream and Cones Ice Cream Lounge is leading by example.

Meteorologist James Spann is a local go to weatherman for people during inclement weather, but his contributions to the community don’t end there. For example, Spann was the premiere presenter at the Alabaster Library’s year-long series of programs for homeschooled students. He has been presenting in this program since 2016. The program helps encourage local children to strive to be successful and gives them the resources to do so. Spann’s knowledge of science and his encouragement will impact these students and future generations. 

Everywhere you turn, you can find something happening that strengthens our community. Whether it is  the Grace Klein Community food rescue providing food for the hungry or the  Kitty Cat Haven rescue and adoption partnering with Pet Supplies Plus looking to get good homes for some rescued kittens, people are giving back and building our community.. 

Bringing a community together can be fun too. Take for example the 14th annual Taste of Shelby County. The community can come together and enjoy tasting food and beverages from businesses across the county.  As simplistic as it seems, communities that do things together grow together and look out for each other, just like the Montevallo Public Safety Coalition. They are hosting three events during the month of October to “make the community the best it can be.” 

The past couple of years has deeply affected the way that we run our everyday lives. It has also changed the way society prioritizes the importance of community. A community is only as good as what you put into it, and in the past two years, while communities in other states are crumbling, ours is continuing to grow closer, stronger, and thrive.