Community’s compassion remarkable

Our community never ceases to amaze.

No matter what the call is, people respond and they respond in a big way.

Take last week’s barbecue fundraising for cancer survivor Rose Marie Soto. The City Market was flooded with people both at lunch and later at dinner, all there to buy a plate, offer a donation, cook, pack boxes or do whatever was necessary to ensure that the benefit was a tremendous success.

It was — tenfold. At last word, over $30,000 was raised, money that will help offset the cost of Soto’s treatments, an immense blessing.

Fast-forward to last Friday night at Clinton High’s football stadium where dozens gathered to support the community’s annual Relay for Life. Though not nearly the huge event of year’s past, those who participated made up for the fewer numbers with high energy and enormous spirit and determination. Despite the resignation of its coordinator just a few months into rallying support for the cause, those involved with this year’s Relay touted the successes that continue to come from a community willing to step in and help when the call goes out.

Because of that willingness to answer the call, Friday’s night Relay wasn’t without volunteers or participants, and the work of the few brought joy to many more.

It is reassuring in times when people seem to square off against one another on social media because of differing opinions on everything from politics to the latest offensive quip from a Hollywood star, to see our community continue to come together to support one another.

At those times, we see the best in a community that always seems to put its most benevolent foot forward when it is needed the very most.

It is that spirit of oneness in times of trouble that sets Sampson County apart from others. We are certain, given what we’ve seen in Duplin, that the same community spirit exists there as well. Perhaps it’s because we are small communities still rooted in faith, love of our fellow man and belief in the human spirit.

Though we sometimes allow social media and the latest national scandal to separate us from the good sense we normally use on a daily basis, when the chips are down, we set aside all differences to help those in need. We don’t consider their race, sex or political persuasions before giving that assistance either. We act and ask questions later, if we ever even ask the questions.

Our community is remarkable in its compassion. We sincerely hope that never changes.