Grundy County is a county like no other.
I don’t say this because I was raised my whole life here, or because I chose to move back later to raise two of my four children. I say this because I’ve never seen a place so generous.
Working for the newspaper, I go to many events such as Operation St. Nick, We Care at the Farm, Hospital Gala, Draw Down for Grundy County Farm Bureau and 4-H, families raising money for other families during a time of crisis.
Hands down, I’ve seen more money pass from person to person in this county to do something for someone else. Feed them, house them, pay a propane bill, buy them a freezer, a car, you name it – I’ve pretty much seen it all.
I often wonder if Grundy County is some kind of alternative universe, or a throwback to a time our grandparents lived in.
Whatever it is, I hope it never stops. I hope the bleak, dark, seemingly uncaring world stays out of our county.
I remember my mom, who worked at Grundy Bank for 40 years, tell me of times when her dad, a tenant farmer, got a loan on a handshake to plant his crops. She tells me of times when the bank overlooked credit a little bit because they knew the family was doing the right thing, Mother Nature just wasn’t cooperating.
I wonder if it’s those roots that bring members of this town to the aid of others, time and time again.
The naysayer might say they do this to get the fame, their name mentioned in an article or a thank you of some sort, but I personally know some who give and give, and when asked if they want credit, the response is simply, “Nope, this is anonymous,” or “If you have to use a name, use Tony the Pony, I’ll explain that one day.”
I’m still waiting to hear that story, but in the meantime I just get overwhelmed by others who are just as generous.
Generosity doesn’t come from the person who gives the most money, it comes from the one who gives.
If someone who makes $250,000 a year gives an organization a check for $5,000, that’s wonderful, right? But what about the person who makes $32,000 a year and donated $1,000?
Surely $5,000 is more than $1,000 but the person who gave $1,000 gave a higher percentage of his income.
So now, what about the single parent with the two kids in tow who drops the spare change in a red kettle or a jar on a counter? Are they any less valuable?
My answer is no, because they cared enough to give back something.
That is what our community is filled with, those willing to give back something to someone, and that’s what makes Grundy County special.
• Heidi Litchfield is the senior news writer for the Morris Herald-News. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.