By REBECCA PALMER
On my first day at the Clipper almost six months ago, I met with the members of the editorial team to learn what they liked about their jobs, what they didn’t, and changes they hoped to make in the paper.
Without fail, each staffer told me that working long, unusual hours and handling the stress of writing for the paper was worth it because doing so gave them the chance to interact with the community.
It’s true that we must cover conflict and crime, but often, our stories are examples of the best of humanity. We see it right here in south Davis County.
The coming week is sure to be full of many of these encouraging stories, but we mourn the loss of the people who died in Connecticut last week, particularly the innocent and promising children. Similarly, we mourn for the children of Syria caught in deadly civil war for almost two years, the young girls in the Middle East and elsewhere who aren’t even allowed education and the poorest and most neglected people who live among us.
For the staff here on 500 West, our sorrow and heartbreak are tempered by all the positives we see here in Davis County.
We are thankful every day for the beautiful place in which we live, the many opportunities it affords and, particularly, the people of this wonderful community.
Earlier this year in Kaysville, a graduating student learned that many of her peers are essentially homeless. She organized a major donation of hygiene kits and inspired younger students to organize a food drive for hungry students to meet the need.
Just this month, police departments around the county hosted “Shop with a Cop” events, pairing officers with needy children to purchase presents. For our crime and religion reporter Melinda Williams, it was one of the best stories of the year.
“I just enjoyed myself to pieces that day,” she said, despite having to wake up well before dawn to cover one such event.
For education reporter and photographer Louise Shaw, seeing a second-grade boy share his winning Martin Luther King Jr. speech last week was a reminder that hope and promise are bursting with life in the next generation. She watched the boy speak of freedom, raising his arms and his voice to the crowd. He earned a standing ovation.
Our arts writer and film critic Jennifer Wardell saw hope and goodwill burning bright while writing about the upcoming caroling event to be sponsored by the Joy Foundation. That group has recently been forced to move from the Bountiful-Davis Art Center building, but is nevertheless organizing a chance for residents to join together in song and spread holiday cheer.
Our Production Manager Anna Pro is inspired by stories of the thousands of dollars in donations local residents give to the homeless. At the next desk, Russian native Anastasia Varlakova has been moved to tears by learning that her fellow Russians are bringing flowers, candles and teddy bears to the U.S. embassy overseas to commemorate the lost children of the senseless Newtown massacre.
My colleague Tom Busselberg, editor of The Islander, is overjoyed to see the progress toward funding Chloe’s Playground, which will allow mentally and physically disabled children to play alongside all their peers. It will be a beacon of hope throughout the county and beyond, he said. Having had a severely intellectually challenged brother, the efforts are particularly meaningful to him.
Grief, sorrow and pain are ever present in our world and even in our own communities and neighborhoods, but our best hope for a positive future will be in our individual efforts. At the Clipper, we are blessed to see the best of Davis County every day. We often see its worst too.
Reflecting on it all, we are confident that the vibrant determination, charitable hearts and loving neighbors in this community can outshine whatever negative events may come.
The Davis Clipper staff wishes you the happiest of Christmases and an impossibly fantastic new year.