By editorial board • 

Acts of caring, kindness mark local crisis response

When the going gets tough, some people are blinded by the opportunity to profit on the misery of others and sink into the slime pursuing it. Others, fortunately far more numerous, are blinded by the opportunity to be of service to others and rise into the heavens pursuing it.

Tuesday’s edition of the News-Register was filled, to the exclusion of almost anything else, with stories of the latter — people, sometimes working through agencies and other times on their own, who found needs greater than their own in the wrenching COVID19 crisis and set about answering the call. Among those celebrated for their efforts Tuesday were:

Abisha Stone of SEDCOR, for initiating two programs designed to furnish immediate relief to reeling local businesses.

Cynthia Thompson of the Yamhill County Transit Agency, for embracing a plan to offer free ridership for the duration.

Sylla McClellan of Third Street Books, for still thinking of harder hit neighbors as she struggled to keep her own staff intact and business afloat.

Cody Alvey of Lutheran Family Services, for maintaining her home visit contacts digitally in order to continue aiding suffering clients.

Ronnie Vostinak of Homeward Bound Pets, for keeping the shelter going and resuming adoptions, in recognition that the needs of homeless animals can’t simply be abandoned.

County Commissioner Casey Kulla and a host of other elected and appointed community leaders, for launching a series of online meetings to exchange ideas and coordinate plans for coping.

YCAP Board Chair Beth Wytoski, for working to fortify food boxes and move more of the vulnerable homeless into shelters.

Dave Rucklos of the McMinnville Downtown Association and Gioia Goodrum of the McMinnville Area Chamber of Commerce, for moving swiftly to help the city’s commercial core survive desperate times.

Rich Leipfert of the McMinnville Fire Department, for rounding up masks and other protective gear for county health department employees and other healthcare workers.

McMinnville City Manager Jeff Towery, for extending handwashing and sanitation services to the homeless and working with other agencies to expand shelter usage.

John Dietz of McMinnville Water & Light, for securing approval to increase its need-based aid fund, forgo assessing late fees and solicit community contributions.

Kendal Williams of Great Harvest Bread, for giving free loaves to those in need.

The leaders of local school districts, for organizing a countywide grab-and-go pickup program for families relying on school breakfasts and lunches.

U.S. Attorney Billy Williams, for exposing a broad array of coronavirus scams attempted by scurrilous opportunists largely operating online — and making every effort to crack down on them.

Clearly, a tidal wave of helping hands is being extended by people from all walks of life. Many of the myriad acts of caring and kindness being carried out in our community will go unrecorded. But we are committed to documenting as many as we can and celebrating them all, big and small.


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