Editorial: The Believe Project: Beneath political labels, we're all people who need each other
As we close in on the collision of an impeachment vote and Christmas, it's important to remember that politics is not everything. When you strip away political labels, we're all simply people who need one other.
If you're having trouble looking beyond someone's politics -- and many of us do, even with family members -- try reading the daily installment of the Believe Project and see if we can change your mind. It's a daily devotional, of sorts, to get your mind right.
To recap: This is the sixth December we've been working with former Lake Zurich businesswoman Carolyn Gable, who provides $100 to people who have a compelling story for making a difference in someone else's life with the money.
We collect nominations from readers and Carolyn selects the winners. We then share a new story with you every day in December.
In some cases, the $100 offers encouragement. In others, it provides real help, whether it be for home repairs, medicine, food or some other necessity.
In all cases, the thought definitely counts.
And in all cases, it tugs at your heartstrings to know there are people in our midst for whom such small kindnesses really matter -- and that there are people who notice these struggles and try to do something about them.
We've received more than 100 requests for $100. Some of the most compelling include:
• A Hanover Park woman named Caryn who wants to reward her neighbor who helped her when Caryn's house burned down and all of the family's belongings were lost. The neighbor collected donations, took care of their dogs and generally looked out for Caryn's family.
• A Streamwood woman named Cheryl, who is concerned her friend will have trouble paying her heating bills this winter. The friend lost both parents in the past two years and had to move out of the family home. Most of the sale proceeds went to pay existing bills. Her only source of income is disability. She found a mobile home she could afford, but what little money she had left paid for repairs.
"I know this gift would bring her so much joy and help keep her warm," Cheryl wrote. "She has been through a lot and could use a break. "
• Terry from Gurnee, whose friend is retired and whose husband, a Vietnam-era veteran, is not well.
"She takes care of her husband as well as spending her own money to make sure the veterans at the VA in North Chicago know they are not forgotten," Terry said. The woman plans luncheons and a variety of activities throughout the year for the vets.
You'll notice that in none of these cases did people write about their friends' politics. That's because at the heart of it, that doesn't matter. Remember that.