Editorials

Dozen examples to start your own bit of community building

Mary Kloess on the early days of Althoff girls sports

Mary Kloess was the first Althoff Catholic High School coach for girls sports. She and 11 others will receive the Citizens of Character award Tuesday in Belleville.
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Mary Kloess was the first Althoff Catholic High School coach for girls sports. She and 11 others will receive the Citizens of Character award Tuesday in Belleville.

“But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret.”

Matthew’s admonition often makes those doing good uncomfortable when they are singled out for recognition. They mostly do not want their gifts of time or money announced with trumpets. They are happy to anonymously serve.

Still, when their good works are discovered they can serve as inspiration for other good works by others.

Belleville just celebrated the 9th Annual Mary McHugh Citizens of Character dinner, hosted by the Belleville Achieves Strength in Character, or BASIC, Initiative. A dozen people were honored as Citizens of Character, which means they were role models for making this a better community.

Read through the reasons they were honored and it is hard not to want to do something for someone else.

Richard Bass makes freshmen feel included at Belleville West. Barb Ducey raised $25,000 for a park and organized a neighborhood cheering section for the Belleville Marathon. Retired cop Doug Jones gets troubled students to school and advises them. Adrianne Neville took the loss of her baby girl as inspiration to raise $100,000 for other ill children and their families. Sharon Strasbaugh got a momument to 9/11 built in Belleville. Charlie Woodford served his country in World War II, started the Belleville East athletic booster club and remains a living history lesson for students.

Tom Wade uses his faith to help in dozens of ways. Mary Kloess brought girls’ sports to Althoff Catholic High School. Barb Hohlt devotes many volunteer hours to children and disabled residents. Drew Kramer ministers with compassion. Laura Sauerwein makes sure needy students have senior portraits. Jenni Swartz boosts the faith of youngsters and ensures they have after-school activities.

There are more details about each honoree from which you can draw inspiration. While your charitable acts are best done in secret, maybe your community building is worth sharing so that others join in.

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