Date posted: February 28, 2014
I’ve been thinking a lot this week about what it means to be a good neighbor. With all the snow we’ve gotten lately, my husband and I are often out trying to help keep our driveway and our neighbor’s driveway clear of snow. We hate the ice sheet that builds up at the curb, preventing the melting snow to flow to the street drain at the corner.
So there we are, one with a large shop broom and the other with a shovel, clearing what seems like endless amounts of that white stuff.
We do it to be nice and we do it because we try to help people whenever we can.
While pondering the concept of neighbors, though, my mind wandered to the five snowmobilers who were missing in the Bighorn Mountains for about two days last weekend. I spent much of Saturday staying in touch with the Sheridan County Sheriff’s Office getting updates on search efforts and hoping to hear the group had been found safe and sound.
The five men weren’t from the Sheridan area and I, like most others helping in the search, had no personal connection to the group. It was simply a case of somebody needing help and others stepping in to contribute.
The sheriff’s office said nearly 100 people participated in the search. They came from Sheridan County, Johnson County, Big Horn County and even neighboring states like North Dakota, where the men were from.
Those who couldn’t help by searching on snowmobiles or other methods asked how they could help the searchers. Could they bring them food or supplies? What did they need? Efforts on Facebook took hold and the entire community, it seemed, wanted to pitch in.
Throughout it all, too, friends and family who were anxious for news stayed in touch via Facebook, checking updates on any number of pages, including ours at The Sheridan Press.
We’ve received several thank yous from North Dakota residents who hung on every update, hoping for the best.
In addition, a North Dakota newspaper relayed information that had been provided to The Sheridan Press by Sheridan authorities to their local readership.
“This whole county hung on every word/news from your link, as others posted it on Facebook. You were our eyes on the story as it unfolded,” he said.
We, both as a newspaper and as Sheridan area residents, helped to keep our neighbors to the north informed.
It was great to hear the five guys had been found and I’m pretty sure anyone following the story breathed a collective sigh of relief when they heard the news.
Volunteers from across several counties and at least two states showed just how big their hearts are and let the nation see what it means to be good neighbors.