Something we’ve all been guilty of: driving past a house (possibly in our own neighborhood) and wondering why the homeowner isn’t doing a better job of keeping up their property. Don’t they know they are bringing down all of our property values?
But, as the story I’m featuring today highlights, we never know what someone else is going through. Randa Ragland, of Pinson, Alabama, was going through a hell of a lot. Ragland’s husband had lost his job, she was facing some health issues, and her 3-year-old son Jaxen, who has autism and is nonverbal, has been diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma. So you can imagine how Randa felt when this note showed up in her mailbox:
Randa posted the note to Facebook while sharing her family’s story to Facebook, while simply asking people to “try being kind to your neighbor” and to “say hello to people.”
What happened next restores my faith in people. Kimberly Davis Quick, who doesn’t know Ragland, saw the post and leapt into action. She started a Facebook page not only support Jaxen in his cancer fight, but to help out the whole family: volunteers showed up to mow the lawn, clean the house, and even go shopping for the family.
One volunteer, Joey Harding, had a special connection: he lost his 6 year old daughter in July to the same cancer Jaxen is fighting. He told a local TV station that helping the Raglands was also helping him during his difficult time. “This is love,” he said. “This is love for a stranger.”
As for who left the note…pay attention. These people are what it means to be a good neighbor, in the purest sense of the term. Maybe you’ll think about that next time before you grab your notebook.