There are few things I enjoy more than being proven right. And let me tell you, this happens so seldom that when I am proven right, I feel like I should have it tattooed on my arm.
But since I don’t do voluntary pain (except for childbirth), I just crow about it to innocent bystanders.
In this case, you. Congratulations.
I have always maintained that Sheridan is one of the most thoughtful, giving communities on the planet.
Many have agreed wholeheartedly but some have been skeptical. This example trumps the skeptics. There is a growing Facebook group called the Sheridan Angels. It was started by Kelley Mason, a single mother of five children who arrived in Sheridan two years ago in a quest to make a new life for her family.
She had her car, her kids and two lawn chairs when she arrived but she is supremely resourceful and an insanely hard worker. Plus, she Thanks to the resources provided to her and her family, she was able to get on her feet and into college. Once her life stabilized, she looked around and decided to give back. Pay it forward is the hip term these days.
I only knew it as a movie with Helen Hunt but it means that you repay the generosity that was afforded you to someone else who needs it.
Kelley started small. She knew that Facebook is a very democratic place. Young or old, rich or poor, single or married, pretty much the world is on Facebook. Or Faceplant, as my mom called it. So she threw up some angel wings as a logo, announced the mission of the Sheridan Angels and a phenomenon was born. Her goal is simple.
Pay it forward by donating to needy families or for needy families in need of donations. Giving, caring and love is the only way we are going to change the world. Please do not be greedy or expect handouts. We need to have enough for everyone.”
She has a few basic rules that assume respect, gratitude and giving back. She doesn’t suffer fools and she does not take kindly to others taking advantage of the Angels’ kindness.
The demands on her time and energy are draining but the rewards are immediate and outstanding. Thanks to Kelley and her rapidly growing fleet of winged rescuers, countless women, children and families in Sheridan County have been given food, funds, shelter, clothing, job leads, housing opportunities and so much more.
With 1,190 members and that number rising like a rocket, the Sheridan Angels with Kelley at the helm have found a need and are filling it as fast as you can post on Facebook. Want to get involved? Join the Angels and jump in where you can. The stories will break your heart but the salvations will glue it back together.
I leave you with my current favorite Angels’ story. Kelley got a knock on her door a few evenings ago. A complete stranger was standing there. Trying not to worry, she answered the door. The man asked if she was the “Sheridan Angel Lady.” When she said she was, he handed her $100 and said, “I made this extra today. I know you’ll put it to good use,” and left before she could get the words to thank him out of her mouth.
This is where you and I live. It’s a good place with good people. And I was right! I’ll try to keep my smugness to a minimum.
Amy Albrecht is the executive director of the Center for a Vital Community.