This is the month each year where we celebrate our freedom. The month where we should be giving thanks to the heroes in our community.
Early in my career, many years ago, our newspaper did a special section calling “Hometown Heroes.” I always looked forward to this section because we uncovered some extraordinary stories about people living among us as neighbors.
I am a true believer in paying respects and honoring our veterans and the people currently serving in the U.S. military. What they do and are trained to do is extraordinary.
However, I also value what many of our residents do here at home. For them, this column is dedicated to you because are you are the epitome of what America could and should stand for every day.
In this column, I want to say thank you to the volunteers who work tirelessly to help veterans. Whenever I take my dad to the VA — they are always there with a smile and ready to get us wherever we are trying to go.
Beyond the VA, we have organizations such as the VFW and American Legion throughout our communities. These groups quietly do great work every year. They hold ceremonies, honor members of our community and hand out scholarships to our youth.
Speaking of scholarships, it is mind-boggling how much small organizations step up year after year to hand our graduating high school seniors a check. Take groups such as the Englewood Rotary Club. This group handed out $10,000. Not a small amount — and their work, while not front and center, is important.
To the volunteers of organizations who every day wake up to prepare food boxes for our community members in need — you are heroes. You are appreciated.
To the volunteers who join boards, clubs and organizations to battle child abuse — you are appreciated.
To the volunteers who are called in when police are trying to help a victim of a crime — you are appreciated. Many of you are victims yourselves and understand what someone is going through. The courage it takes to set aside your pain to help another deal with theirs is incredible.
To the volunteers who work tirelessly to help women out of domestic abuse — we appreciate you. This is no easy task and you all work hard.
To organizations who help refugees fleeing their home countries to find peace in America — we appreciate you. Many of you open your homes, wallets and time just to help a stranger feel welcome.
To organizations dedicated to making an effort to help young transgenders, people coming out as gay — to the therapy, services and support you all tirelessly provide — we appreciate you.
The space in this column is not big enough to cover how many groups and organizations who do amazing things every day — know you are appreciated.
If you are reading this column and know of an organization or individual we should recognize as community heroes, please let us know. Writing about those doing good work is a priority for me as an editor. Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thelma Grimes is the south metro editor for Colorado Community Media.