CINCINNATI — The year is almost over, and while many headlines might shout "disaster" and "chaos," there were plenty of shows of love and caring from one person to another. Here are some of the Tri-State's top stories from 2018 that reminded us of the good in the world.
Guy Cummins, owner of Smokin' This and That BBQ, offered free meals to those who left their homes in North Carolina as Hurricane Florence made its way to the state.
"I was sitting with a friend of mine, and we were talking about it, and we thought it would be cool to feed everybody who was coming this way," he said.
After the Middletown Youth Football and Cheer League's former treasurer, Danielle Lucas, was charged with stealing more than $40,000 from the league, the Middies's rival team, the Lakota Tomahawks, donated some football equipment to help the Middies. The donation showed the teams may be opponents on the field, but they are far from enemies off the field.
Navy veteran Neil Jonas died in December, 2017, but his service to the community extended beyond that. Jonas owned eight property lots near the Little Miami River which he wanted made into a veteran memorial park, but when his family was trying to figure out what to do with the furniture from his home, they thought about what Jonas would have wanted.
With the help from Maslow's Army, donated the furniture in the home to those in need, including Navy veteran Henry Franklin. "It was one of my brothers,” Franklin said. “You gotta understand. It's because they care ... about vets."
Charlie Carraher Jr., a 96-year-old World War II pilot who helped liberate two major concentration camps during the war, emceed a Veteran's Day concert at the Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy and reminded people to thank a veteran when we can.
"When you thank a veteran, you thank all of them. That’s the way I feel,” he said. “When you shake hands and say, ‘Thanks for your service,’ you’re automatically thanking all the veterans who have ever served our country."
At 24 years old, Darrell Kelly graduated from the University of Cincinnati College of Law and received his Master of Business Administration from Xavier University’s Williams College of Business, all within 24 hours. And he accomplished this feat with a lot of love and support from his family.
“I was born to five generations of love, and I passed that on to them,” Lisa Kelly said about her son Darrell and her daughter Landon Kelly. "If he’s tall, it’s because he’s standing on tall shoulders. He’s big because of the village, because of the friendships. He grew up with love."
What kind of list would this be if we didn't mention Brody Allen?
After Brody, 2, was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, his friends, family and neighbors gathered to celebrate Christmas with him in the middle of September. A parade was put on, Santa made an early appearance and presents were brought from all over the community to make for a special Christmas celebration which won't be easily forgotten.
“He was so happy,” said Brody’s sister, McKenzie Allen. “It was amazing. Not just for him, but for everybody.”
The past year was filled with stories of love and generosity from all over the Tri-State. It is with these stories in mind that we are reminded of the good in each of us, and this gives us hope as we look forward to what the coming year will bring.