From Amy Jo Lohoff
I just wanted to restore a bit of faith in our community.
The morning of the “blizzard,” my husband and I saw Ray walking down Highway 34 by Dollar General. He had an umbrella to shield the blowing snow and was only wearing a pair of old tennis shoes. We picked him up, apologized for not wanting to make the drive to Corning, but offered to put him up at the Supertel for the evening. After we got his room, we took him to get lunch. Then after we dropped him off, my husband called his room and asked what size boots he wore. Unfortunately, he didn’t wear my husband’s size. So I asked on Facebook if anyone would like to donate boots for him, and I left his room number.
Immediately, I had several people willing to donate boots. Terri Koets not only gave him a near new pair, she also gave him warm socks and $20 to pay for his supper. Amanda Peterson sent me $100 via PayPal to purchase new boots, but then after boots were donated, asked that we just allow him to use it as he wished. Ray almost started crying ... acting so very appreciative.
He gave me the same story about people not being kind to him here because of his color. I was mortified. When I made my post, I left out the fact that he was a black man. At the time I thought it was because it didn’t matter, but I’m afraid that subconsciously I knew it might matter and perhaps that’s why I didn’t mention it.
The fact is, our town came together to help him. I’m sure his ways have become a survival tactic if he lives out on the road. I was so angry when I read Judy Gile’s letter to the editor, because he completely left out all of the kindness that he was shown here, but I refuse to let it make my heart bitter. Desperate people do desperate things. Just know this town still has plenty of good people. We did do better and we are better.