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Kindness Flourishes in McCreary County

By Eugenia Jones defines the word, “kind,” as “being of a good, benevolent, or generous disposition.” Synonyms include compassionate, caring, thoughtful, unselfish, and gentle. However, Mark Twain perhaps defined it best when he remarked,
“Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”
As part of Random Acts of Kindness Week (February 11-17), our readers submitted local examples of random acts of kindness (RAoK) along with the names of people they feel consistently exemplify the quality of kindness. This week in part two of our spotlight on kindness, we share the names of some McCreary Countians recognized by our readers as being genuinely kind as well as some more examples of random acts of kindness. We had many, many responses and regret we cannot share all of them; however, we do appreciate all of the submissions. Please note, some responses have been edited for clarity and space.
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“Donald Coffey from Rattlesnake Ridge gives all he has for a non-profit charity to feed people. He runs it himself and works so hard. He is an inspiration to so many. He is the founder of the “garden of hope.” He also just published a cookbook with recipes from people in the community with proceeds from the sale of the book going back to his charity.”
– Tina Jann Kiah Moody

“My husband always does kind acts for me and for others. He helps our 95 year old neighbor by taking him to the store weekly and to all his doctor and dentist appointments. That means one day every week, he gets up at 7:00 a.m. and picks our neighbor up to take him to the store, doctor, or dentist. My husband sits with our neighbor at the hospital, fixes him blueberry and cushaw pies, and fixes his appliances when they tear up. This elderly gentleman isn’t the only one my husband helps randomly. He helps a Veteran by making sure he has food, heat, and a television. He takes the Veteran to the VA Hospital in Lexington and sits with him when needed. There are a lot of people alone in the world. My husband seems to have an instinct about how to help them in ways they don’t realize they are being helped. It’s really like watching a Good Samaritan in action.”
– Kirby Manning

“Diadena Perry is the most giving person I have ever known. She goes above and beyond to help those in need while working a full time job. She makes crafts and quilts to raffle off to help those in need.”
– Margaret Tucker

“I want to say Diadena Perry also. Her husband has cancer, and she takes care of his needs and helps anyone in the community who is in need. She came by today with a big bag of goodies and a generous donation to help with a trip we are making to the hospital for surgery.”
– Sue Singleton

“My daughter passed away at four days old. I was without a job at the time and no money. Hap and Tracy Strunk were in charge of the arrangements and knew my situation. I will forever be grateful for what they did and their beautiful, kind hearts.”
– Angie Kay Neal

“Kathy Moore is Ms. Random Act of Kindness. I’m sure the girls at Arby’s can’t count how many times she’s paid for the car behind her. I know I’ve personally seen countless posts on her FB page of people that figured out it was her and thanking her.”
– Suzie Strunk Thompson

“Kathy Moore is my suggestion, too! She’s a fantastic lady. I don’t know how many times I’ve moved up to the drive thru window to find out she’s paid for my breakfast or to even find out she paid for the person a few cars ahead of me and started a chain reaction of people “paying it forward” to the next person behind them. Kathy is a gem. There is no telling how many smiles she has brought to people, and they don’t even know it was her who extended the kind gesture.”
– Tony & Charlotte Smith

“Freda Neal goes above and beyond to help people. She has done so much for our church. She and Allen do stuff like getting the carpet cleaned and putting in light bulbs. She has taught our little kids and bought everything she needs to teach them out of her pocket. She hosts our ladies’ group, and picks up one child that doesn’t have a way to church. She is a prayer warrior for everyone. Her acts of kindness are so many that I cannot mention them all.”
– Bessie H. Perry

“I’ve known Nathan Nevels my entire life. He’s taken me to church with his family when I was a little girl, given his time to plow, bush hog the fields and never take a dime. He takes food to people who have hardships, as well as just a few weeks ago was out picking up trash for his beloved community. These are only a few of the kinds acts I’ve witnessed my entire life. Nathan has much to give, and share, one of the finest men I’ve had the pleasure of knowing, as well as loving, for years!”
– Donna Maxwell

“Our volunteer firefighters and rescue squad members volunteer to train and risk their lives to save the citizens of McCreary County for free!!! Also, Hat’s off to all of the Gracie’s Rescue Outreach folks who VOLUNTEER to save animals every day!!! These “Random Acts of Kindness” really deserve notice and appreciation because they have an effect on all of the citizens of McCreary County!”
– Darlene Price

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And a few more random acts of kindness…

“In 2006 I was receiving chemo treatments every other week, January 4 through August 16th. It took two days for one treatment. My husband went with me on a few occasions and usually one of my daughters on the others. To be sure we were there at 8am on the first day, we would go to Lexington the evening before and stay two nights at the Hampton Inn on Harrodsburg Road. Although It was near my treatment center and they gave a medical discount, it was still expensive. Jim, my husband, was with me for one of the trips in May. He talked to everyone-something I always fussed at him for doing. I saw him talking to a very handsome businessman (suit, briefcase, etc.) a couple of times at the hotel. After the second night, we always checked out before going for my treatment. We had coffee and the complimentary breakfast before leaving the hotel. The handsome businessman was also having coffee before going to his appointment. Jim went to the front desk to checkout and in a few minutes returned and sat down at the table with me, speechless. He finally said that he didn’t know what to say because when he started to pay, our bill had been paid by the handsome stranger. He had left the dining area, but Jim was able to catch him in the parking lot to thank him. He had been at the hotel for a week and the first night he was there the hotel gave him a free room that night because they didn’t have a smoke free room to give him, so he paid for our two nights. It was a very generous act of kindness. He told Jim he just wanted to help and hoped my treatments were successful. He was from Augusta, Ga., but I don’t know the name of his company. Jim said they mainly talked about the Masters Golf tournament. I think of this man often and wish and pray God’s blessings on him.”
– Peggy Perkins

“The local KSP troopers gave out gift cards instead of tickets this past Christmas. According to Billy Correll, the troopers loved the opportunity to be the good guys instead of giving a ticket for a fine or taking someone to jail.”
– Michele Wilson Jones

“My husband payed a bus ticket for a young lady whose billfold was stolen so she could get back home to her mom.”
– Julie Gibson

“I picked up a stranger and her young son who was autistic that was walking to town (6 miles) to get some groceries. When I got there she was buying milk and bread and a pack of bologna. She said it would do them for several days. I pretended to be shopping for myself, loaded up a cart and purchased it. I took them home and set my bags out with hers on the porch and left. You could see the tears in the mom’s eyes and a smile on his face. It’s the small rewards that makes it worth it.”
– Sara Stephens

These and countless other examples demonstrate that random acts of kindness are limited only by our hearts and imaginations. As we celebrate this week by doing one…or two…or three random acts of kindness, who knows? By acting upon the words-“practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty”- scribbled by Anne Herbert more than thirty years ago on a restaurant place mat, we might just make the world a better place for ourselves and others.

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