Thumbs Up! July 7, 2014

ALBANY HERALD EDITORIAL BOARD: Good news to start the week

Families, more than 140 of them, were given food boxes last weekend. A grant was recently received by Second Harvest Food Bank of South Georgia to distribute food to families in need and the organization asked St. Paul’s Episcopal Church to assist with the distribution. Volunteers from the church were plentiful and cars began lining up early. Although the head of each household was asked to fill out a basic information form, there was no screening. Those who came were given food and for as long as the food lasted. Mollie Roberts, associate rector at St. Paul’s, said other than a few signs at the church, the only advertising was by word of mouth. From the turnout, it is apparent that there are plenty of families in need of food. Generous donations come around the holidays, but with children out of school, there is a definite need for donations in the summer. Second Harvest has the network to take each dollar donated and spread it much farther than one might expect. If you can make a donation, please do so. It could be you or a family member or a friend or neighbor in line for assistance at some time in the future.

James Malphrus is nothing if not a realist. When he began the formation of The Kattalistts Group back in December 2011, there was, and so it remains, one mission. “I have little hope that we’re going to do things that make changes nationally, and there’s little chance that our change will expand to the state level. But we can make positive changes on the local level. We can have an impact right here.” Whether it’s cleaning up area waterways or becoming involved in such events as the popular ”Zombie Run,” this group has quietly become an intricate part of Albany and Southwest Georgia. Future plans are many and all are in hopes of making positive changes, right here where the Katalistts call home.

Kudos to the young man who reported bullying by fellow teammates from Westover High School. It took guts to tell his family, one that has obviously instilled a strong sense of right and wrong. The school system is to be commended for acting quickly to insure that proper punishment was handed down. Bullying may not be a criminal offense but it is wrong, wrong, wrong. Those who dish it out now know that they best enjoy it while they can because the consequences of their behavior will follow. From the parents to the students to the coaches and chaperones, here’s hoping a lesson has been learned and there will be no repeat performance. To the young man, hold your head up. You did the right thing and, besides that, your dad’s got your back.

Four Dizzy Dean all-star teams have won state championships. That is an amazing stat. The 12-, 10-, 8- and 6-year-olds are the title holders for this season. The older three teams will travel later this month to play in the Dizzy Dean World Series in Southaven, Miss. The youngest winning team’s coaches and parents decided not to make the trip this time but nothing can take away the state title. Congratulations and good luck to the three teams that will make the trip.

Seven summers now, teens and adults from Beach United Methodist Church in Jacksonville, Fla. have made a trip to Albany. The youngsters paint, pick up trash, conduct Bible classes, rake leaves or whatever is asked of them. Each year, there are folks that say it’s a negative that we “have” to get this kids from out of town to clean up the city. It is obvious that such remarks come from people who do not have a clue at to what a mission trip is all about. This year, 55 teens and 11 adults spent a week here — all voluntarily. These are young people who want to do for others and enjoy helping. Albany is fortunate that this group has chosen our community as the place to do their work. Thank you, Beach UMC, and we hope to see you again next summer.

— The Albany Herald Editorial Board