Annie Lindgren | North Forty News
Community goodness is the thread that sews communities together. It is the joy spread by acts of kindness; the memories made that last a lifetime, and the knowledge that genuine needs will never go unmet. It is a pride felt watching hard work ripple into happiness and experiences shared by everyone involved.
As a reporter for Wellington, I am lucky to share stories of community goodness throughout the year. As a volunteer and active community member, it is easy for me to find glimmers of it. Being very part-time in my work for the newspaper, much of my writing for the community is volunteer work in itself, and I can’t be everywhere at once. Fortunately, I know many community do-gooders happy to share the stories I miss.
Richard Bacon is one such community do-gooder, ever-present at community activities and always sharing news of goodness happening. In November, he pulled me aside at Sparge’s Chili Cook-off to tell me about the incredible turnout for the Turkey Drive put on through the Wellington Foodbank. One hundred and twenty families received food for Thanksgiving. Eyestone Elementary, Rice Elementary, and Wellington Middle School collected all the turkeys, and various organizations around town, including Ridleys Market, donated to the boxes. A vast community effort resulted in over a hundred Happy Thanksgivings, alongside joy shared by all who participated.
I recently talked with Mark Gabbert over a history article on the Zion church. In conversation about the good things happening this holiday season, Mark told me about the Adopt a Family Christmas gift program. This was the fourth year for the program, done in partnership with Serve 6.8, other Wellington churches, and many Wellington businesses. Families who needed assistance with gifts for the holidays could sign up for help, and 81 families signed up this year. Gifts were donated and then collected for distribution on the Dec 18 event day held at the Boys and Girls Club. Parents picked up donations, Kids could pick out gifts for their parents, and many enjoyed fun activities and holiday treats. Due to this community-wide effort, 81 families had a brighter Christmas this year.
The Wellington Library hosted the annual tree lighting ceremony in early December, complete with Christmas caroling. Following this, the Town of Wellington hosted the Parade of Lights on Dec 4, lighting up the downtown and filling the sidewalks with joyful onlookers. In addition, businesses, restaurants, and breweries around town hosted holiday events, clothing and food drives, and made sure Santa and the Grinch had opportunities to meet with children (and adults) this holiday season.
I recently found myself poring over historical articles of life in Wellington in the early 1900s. The stories made Wellington sound like an extra special place, full of community gatherings and folks working together to build a space for their families and businesses to thrive. During a recent walk along the railroad tracks leading to town, I thought of what that same walk might have felt like a century ago. I suspect I would have felt the same connection to this great community as I do now, just with a lot fewer houses along the path.
As another year comes to an end, I feel grateful for the opportunity to share with readers the good things happening in the Wellington community. If you have a story of goodness that needs sharing, please reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. For Northern Colorado readers outside of Wellington, I want to hear your stories too. I kick off 2022 as the new Vice President of Community Outreach for North Forty News. I am excited to play an even more significant role in this newspaper’s mission of connecting communities and sharing community goodness with you. Happy New Year!