With reports of crimes of all sorts, including an increase in burglary, and constantly reminded that our schools are not meeting state standards, it's refreshing to come across a story where people are making a difference locally on a large scale.
I'm referring to the Loving Sunnyside Initiative, which this past Saturday made over six homes in Sunnyside in desperate need of some TLC.
It was heartening to see 200 people or so turn out early on a nice sunny Saturday morning to work on other people's houses.
The reason: to improve Sunnyside, to be a good neighbor.
The generosity of goodwill isn't just in Sunnyside, though, as Grandview also had hundreds turn out to replant rose bushes at the city's east entrance. It was an effort that happened to be witnessed by a company representative who decided to open up operations - and jobs - in Grandview, in part, because of that community effort.
Over in Mabton, they've recently been working hard to revive the Community Days festival, even coordinating a cooking contest.
It's neat because often an uptick in crime is associated with the warmer weather of spring...in this case, though, there's a surge of local residents pitching in to improve their corner of the valley.
All of which makes it seem like that "w" in the Lower Valley should be replaced with a "v" these days. That is, folks in the Lover Valley who are taking the initiative to love Sunnyside, to love Grandview, to love Mabton, to love their neighbor as themselves. To love the very Lord who made it all possible.