Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things

Middle Tennesseans rise to the challenge to help their neighbors

There are many reasons why Tennessee is called the Volunteer State. In difficult times, Tennesseans have a reputation of rising to the challenge to assist others. The first half of 2020 has provided ample opportunities to lend a helping hand.

Rarely a day goes by without news of a celebrity or famous person donating money, hosting an online concert for a charity, or pitching in to help those impacted by Nashville’s tornado or the global coronavirus pandemic. We certainly appreciate their assistance!

But what about the ordinary people who are doing all sorts of things to help their neighbors or even total strangers? There are countless stories and we wish we knew them all. Here are a few examples:

  • A group of friends in Williamson County stepped up to help a struggling singer/songwriter with basic necessities such as food, clothes, and blankets when the camper he was living in collapsed. With their generosity, he was able to bring his wife and children here from California.

  • When a Williamson County resident was diagnosed with the coronavirus, a male friend came over and stayed several days to care for her. Because she had underlying health conditions, he was worried the illness would be especially hard on her body. Fortunately, she recovered completely and he has tested negative many times since caring for her.

  • A Nashville resident recently donated a kidney to a total stranger. The recipient’s wife donated one of her kidney’s to a woman in Florida so that her husband could receive a kidney from the stranger. Talk about paying forward!

  • In February a bicyclist was riding with a group of friends in rural Williamson County when he suddenly collapsed from a heart attack. Fortunately, a retired heart surgeon and registered nurse were within shouting distance and were able to perform CPR, including mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, saving the man’s life. A week later, after receiving a stent in his heart, he was back cycling. 

  • When both parents lost their jobs in early April, providing for their four children became difficult. Since they were also caring for an elderly relative, they were going further into debt each month, even with two paychecks. Upon learning of their situation, a group of neighbors pitched in to provide evening meals and made sure their children were able to receive lunches provided by the local school system.

  • An employee in a Williamson County insurance office was assisting an elderly customer pay her bill over the phone when she learned the lady had recently lost her husband and was losing her eyesight, making it impossible to drive herself to the grocery store or pharmacy. After contacting another customer who lived nearby, the agency was able to find her a weekly ride to medical appointments and to shop for basic necessities. 

We realize these few examples, from the simple to the heroic, only scratch the surface of neighbor helping neighbor. To those we don’t know about, thank you! You are making a difference in someone’s life.

If you know of examples of kindness or assistance by others, please email us at jennifer.kaufman@lifestylepubs.com. We may include them in future stories. 

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