Editorial: What communities do

By on October 21, 2011

Kaneville is a small community; the type of community in which the local church keeps its doors open to continue that sense of being open and inviting to those who seek a spiritual connection.

Earlier this month, someone took advantage of that sense of openness and robbed the Kaneville United Methodist Church.

Each year, the church holds an annual supper and bazaar, and members of the church put together themed baskets to be raffled off. The proceeds from the event, including the raffle, would go to help support the church.

Those baskets went missing early in October, and with less than two weeks before their annual event, the community did what close-knit communities do: they came together.

Through word of mouth, as well as on Facebook, news of the theft spread through the community and beyond, and church member Sandy Gould told Elburn Herald reporter Keith Beebe (see story) that within five days, new baskets began showing up at the church.

By the time the community was done supporting the local church, 32 new themed baskets, plus a separate $200 donation from a member of the general public (who was not a member of the church), had come through the door.

This type of action is what communities do—they come together and support each other when something negative happens. The flip side to that coin is that they are also there to share in the joys when something positive happens; and many times, like with the Kaneville United Methodist Church, it is those community members who take a negative, come together and turn it into a positive.

This is an example of those “small-town values” that are often referred to and difficult to define. For those who do not live or work in a close-knit community, it is something that is hard to understand.

Therefore, it is important to point it out when it happens. It is important to shed light on the community acts of kindness that occur so often, and nearly as often go unrecognized. To those who are part of close-knit communities, “small-town values” do not need defining—they are just the way people live.