Plymell prayers: Reaching out to help others comes second nature to many.

7/7/2014

The tragedy that recently struck the tiny Plymell community brought more proof of the willingness of people to help their neighbors in need.

The tragedy that recently struck the tiny Plymell community brought more proof of the willingness of people to help their neighbors in need.

A gas-related house explosion June 28 killed 17-year-old Spencer Unruh, and left his mother, Kelly, and brother, 14-year-old Riley, hospitalized in critical condition.

The horrible development led many in our midst to act.

Friends and neighbors responded seconds after the blast in hopes of somehow helping out. From that point on, many more people found ways to support the Unruhs and others affected, including neighbors whose home also was severely damaged by the explosion.

One impressive act of kindness materialized with a huge bake sale planned to raise funds for the victims. The plan generated such a response that folks lined up for the sale set up Saturday at the Garden City Farmers Market, and snatched up all of the goods in short order. Many generous donors gave cash in excess of the cost of the treats, and also filled a donation jar.

Consider those heartfelt acts and others in the works still more sterling examples of how Kansans always seem to respond in a time of need.

Moving forward, the sorrow in Plymell may at times seem insurmountable for those involved and their circle of friends and family. Tragedies hit particularly hard in small communities where it seems everyone knows everyone, and no one can escape the pain.

Strength will come from members of a close-knit community who will grieve together and comfort one other in days to come.

People in small towns do indeed have an amazing ability to rally in a time of need. And, they have a way of catching the attention of others who may not know those involved personally, but understand the importance of reaching out to show support in other ways.

Anyone eager to help in such situations should know that even simple gestures — offering a home-cooked meal or a shoulder to cry on — can make all the difference to those who've lost so much, and face more difficult days ahead.

Our prayers are with all involved.

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