Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Breaking News

Opinion

August 18, 2013

Brautigam: Kokomo is a story worth telling

“How do you like Kokomo?” That’s the one question I’ve been asked more than any other since I arrived here last November. In response, I’ve often emphasized how welcome I’ve been made to feel, but there’s a more compelling answer that is harder to explain in casual conversation. There are a whole lot of people here who see a need and do something about it. On the face of it, that doesn’t sound exceptional. Dig a little deeper, however, and I think you’ll see that it goes far beyond casual generosity or an easy, short-term push.

Given the size of the community, the sheer number of private social service entities is impressive — and that doesn’t count the myriad services they offer or their commitment to creative and passionate partnering and fund-raising.  Local leaders took on a down economy and refused to let Kokomo die when our major employers hit hard times, and Kokomo School Corp. started a successful magnet school program that expects more from its students, not allowing poverty to be an excuse for stagnation. Separate entities work together to create whole new collaborative groups, and BLUSH exists because of two women with a vision. Ivy Tech’s automotive center marries innovation and practicality to such a degree that after I visited, I talked about it for three days straight. The list could go on and on. The We Care machine itself could be the topic of an entire article.

I love living and working where I regularly meet People Who Make Things Happen. It’s even the case on the weekend, since the church I attend has just rolled out expanded ways to support kids in need at the closest elementary school. Having moved around the country, I have encountered SEWDI (Somebody Else Will Do It) in an exhausting array of venues. It is exciting and refreshing, instead, to see people taking responsibility for change and making a difference in people’s lives as a result.

A current example, and one I’ve been privileged to be a part of, is the upcoming Howard County Women’s Summit. A few months ago, a small group of women decided to look into the idea of holding an event that would allow local women to meet and to think about the issues facing local women and then to use that as a jumping off point to create change. Even without any formal organization, or the things that go with it such as a budget or a website, it’s about to become a reality; if you’re a local woman we’d love for you to join us. On Saturday morning, Sept. 14, at IU Kokomo, we will host nationally known speaker Suzie Humphreys and kick off the inaugural Howard County Women’s Summit. The logo says, “Thrive, Empower, Advance” and given the can-do spirit of the women behind this event, I expect we will have a great morning and in time create real progress on those fronts.

The next time you’re talking to friends or family from out of town and get asked how things are in Kokomo, perhaps you’ll have time to talk about the local people you know who are tirelessly working toward change. Tell about their latest success stories, too. The collaborative nature and can-do spirit in our community add up to a story worth telling.

Faith Brautigam is director of the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Cleaning up Indiana could be as easy as a bottle deposit Scan the roadside on a drive through the Wabash Valley, and you might spot an empty pop bottle or two. Or two dozen. Or 200. Drink bottles have become our litter du jour. They compose an estimated 40 to 60 percent of all litter, according to the Mich

    April 21, 2014

  • Doctors Brown and Bucshon become seekers Seated across the table from me at Cafe Patachou were Drs. Tim Brown and Larry Bucshon. Dr. Bucshon was a heart surgeon from Newburgh. Dr. Brown is an emergency room physician from Crawfordsville. What made this breakfast meeting extraordinary is tha

    April 21, 2014

  • Wolfsie: High-tech got you down? I love where I bank. It’s a branch inside of a big supermarket. I can make a modest withdrawal and then go and blow every last penny in the cookie aisle. The tellers at the window appreciate me. They know about my obsession with round numbers and und

    April 21, 2014

  • Vasicek: Celebrating Easter I have shared a few bits of Easter humor over the years, so I thought I’d start with a new one. Joseph of Arimathea was the wealthy Pharisee who is famous for helping to bury the body of Jesus. He procured the body, asking Pilate’s permission, and, w

    April 20, 2014

  • Public Eye: Was Turner the only one?

    CNHI Statehouse Bureau Chief Maureen Hayden and other Statehouse reporters didn't get an answer as to why the House ethics committee hearing concerning State Rep. Eric Turner was postponed, but it now appears the committee will meet Wednesday. A note

    April 20, 2014

  • DAY: God trusted us with them Well, you heard about my wife and I, and our families from the past, so it is time for me to tell you about two of the prettiest girls I have ever known. They are our daughters Debbie and Patty. They are the greatest gifts from God that we have had i

    April 19, 2014

  • LoBianco: Bigger ethics questions raised in House Turner review

    Members of the House Ethics Committee who will take up Rep. Eric Turner’s case face daunting tasks as they try to answer two questions: Did their powerful colleague violate any ethics rules in privately lobbying against a measure that would have hurt his family’s business?

    April 18, 2014

  • Letters to the Editor: April 18, 2014

    Attendees at the Tipton County Board of Commissioners meeting April 7 were treated to an appalling lack of both action and concern by the commissioners.

    April 18, 2014

  • Letter to the Editor: April 17, 2014

    On March 20 of this year I attended a public meeting of the Tipton County Economic Development Alliance. Members of this group include the three county commissioners, a member of the county council, two members from the city council, and the mayor.

    April 17, 2014

  • Hicks: Measuring the unmeasurable

    One aspect of economic research I think is especially powerful is the ability to measure or monetize the things that humans clearly value but for which a market price is not necessarily apparent. This is one of the aspects of economic analysis that gives it such dominance over other social sciences.

    April 17, 2014

Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll