Making a difference one person at a time

A new year has dawned, and seven days into it, there are many signs of good things to come: gas prices remain at their lowest rate in several years; business interests are growing locally; area merchants saw good sales during the holidays; and children returned to classrooms this week without a hitch.

On the world front, there is, as always, much havoc being wreaked, and up the road a piece in the nation’s capitol, the battles continue to rage as Republicans and Democrats (and a few outside political boundary politicians) dig in their political heels on issues of great concern, making decisions based on party alone and not good, common sense.

Some might say not much has changed since we’ve entered 2016. In some respects, they would be right. The same tired problems exist, much like the weight we resolved to shed but usually doesn’t seem to fall off.

Yet as we move into this new year, one truth continues to exist — a positive difference can be made in our homes, our communities, our nation and our world, and it often starts with one person, a vision and a willingness to step out and do something, say something, achieve something remarkable.

Already in 2016, community outreach is revved up, with projects like Helping Hands of Sampson County, a project designed to offer an appreciation meal to the county’s first responders, under way; Relay for Life, which kicked off its 2016 endeavor with an organizational meeting last night; and United Way of Sampson County reaching its goal and members preparing in early January to decide how to disseminate the funds that have been donated.

Many good things have kicked this new year into high gear, all spurred by the efforts of people with vision who have searched out others to help them make those visions a reality. Together, these individuals are already infusing new energy into our community and starting a spark that, we hope, will grow into a large fire of hope for Sampson and its residents.

This year, it is our hope that you will resolve to get involved in your churches and in local civic clubs; participate in government meetings; vote; participate in local fundraisers to the extent your personal finances will allow; spread good news and hold gossip at bay; and stay informed by reading in our paper or on our website about what goes on in our community.

In other words, it is our hope that each of you become an active part in this community we call home.

Individually we can make a difference, and collectively that difference can change communities and bring about positive change that transforms communities and improves the quality of life for every single person who lives with Sampson’s county lines and beyond.

Won’t you join with us in resolving to get more involved in 2016? Won’t you stand with us in making this community better? Won’t you be a lasting part of something special, something that can, and will, change hearts and minds?

Together we can make our community, our state, our nation and eventually the world a better place for those who come after us. After all, isn’t that what we are called on to do as good stewards of what we’ve been blessed to have in our lives?