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The window in the front hallway of Lebanon Middle School is covered with paper chains. Each chain contains a sentiment, a prayer or a wish for the well-being for the Haitian people.
In light of the massive earthquake that hit Haiti in January, the LMS STLP and BETA clubs proposed selling the paper chains for a quarter each, according to Bethany Purdom, a student at LMS. Every quarter raised went toward the purchase of healthy mixes of rice and vegetables that could provide six meals per bag.
When all was said and done, the LMS students had collected $1,751, which was enough to provide more than 42,000 meals for people in Haiti.
The LMS students should be commended for their efforts, but they aren't alone.
In the aftermath of the 2009 ice storm, people all over Marion County demonstrated their generosity toward their neighbors and complete strangers.
And this year, Marion Countians have proven their generosity once again, only this time it was for people very few have ever met in person, namely, the people of Haiti.
Bro. Bud Owen, the pastor at Lebanon Christian Church, started a drive to collect peanut butter to help feed Haitian children through the mission established by his parents in Port-de-Paix. Almost as soon as Owen announced the effort, our community jumped into action.
Jars and jars of peanut butter, clothing and rice filled enough crates for multiple semi-trailers to haul and ship them.
Marion Countians' response to the natural disasters that have occurred the past two winters are ample evidence of the values of this community. When people are in need, whether it's down the street or across hundreds of miles of ocean water, Marion County is willing and able to help.
And that's something we should all appreciate.