Folks helping folks

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What makes a good neighbor?

In a thought, it’s that when the chips are down, those around you are willing to step up to the plate and help. It’s folks helping folks.

And there are a lot of good neighbors around these parts.

For all the bad news that often gets publicized, there’s a lot of good going on around us, too. Even in those tough times.

Take a recent three-car accident that occurred near Liberty High School as the students were being dismissed. As students were driving out, they weren’t allowed to leave by school personnel working the parking lot until their seatbelts were buckled. That simple move, by itself, probably saved lives — or at least some serious injuries — a few moments later when the accident occurred on Va. 122 just south of the school.

Three cars were involved in that accident. One flipped over and went down a steep embankment, pinning the driver inside. Two other cars met head-on, injuring several people. Emergency personnel rushed to the scene. These volunteers serve their community day in and day out, with little more recognition than the knowledge that they’ve made our community safer. More on that in a moment.

But others helped out as well. One LHS teacher, Leslie Padgett, was among those making a difference. According to her principal, Padgett came upon the accident, crawled down the hill and stayed with the injured driver who was trapped in the car until additional help came. It’s folks helping folks. And there were many other school staff and administrators there, making calls and helping the injured.

Of course, the emergency fire and rescue workers, along with law enforcement, were there helping the injured.

That’s a scenario played out on a daily basis.

Take last week’s farming accident at Scott’s Strawberry Farm, for example.

J.D. Scott, owner of the farm, was injured while bush hogging on the property. His tractor flipped and he was trapped underneath.

As many as 50 rescue workers would help out at that accident, helping secure the tractor so that Scott could be safely removed and transported to the hospital. The effort took about 90 minutes and fire and rescue personnel from many of the county’s departments participated. There’s not adequate words to thank those who serve us in this way.

Last week’s 9-11 Prayer Breakfast in Bedford also served as a reminder of what it means to be a good neighbor. Dr. David Russell reminded those in attendance of the great sacrifices that were made on 9-11, noting the heroic efforts of those passengers on hijacked United Airlines Flight 93 who gave their lives by overpowering the terrorists to spare the lives of others. Of course, many also gave their lives in the twin towers attempting to help those trapped in those attacks.

Bob Slaughter, former chairman of the National D-Day Memorial Foundation, was also at the prayer breakfast, representing those in the armed forces who have in the past and continue this day to put their lives on the front lines of danger to secure our safety. The freedom we enjoy doesn’t come without cost.

Sometimes helping out means taking a meal to your neighbor next door, sometimes it means holding the hand of an injured friend, sometimes it means putting one’s life in harm’s way for those you don’t even know by name. Sometimes it means lifting up a prayer for those who offer themselves to help out.

The good news is there are plenty of good neighbors around here. The challenge is to make sure that legacy continues, even when times get tough.