Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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
  • BRIAN HOWEY: World is rising up to meet Putin's thuggery Any illusions I had about the progressive nature of Vladimir Putin’s Russian regime quickly dissipated when I returned to my Moscow Grand Marriott room in August 2007. Upon opening the door, I was greeted with the spectacle of my papers and note pads

    July 28, 2014

  • LETTERS: Parents taking fun out of youth sports Parents taking fun out of youth sports I enjoyed reading the article, "Nation's youth sports leagues on troubling decline," by Bill Stanczykiewicz, CEO of the Indiana Youth Institute, and the last paragraph, a quote by Dr. Bill Dexter, president of t

    July 28, 2014

  • DICK WOLFSIE: A trip to end all trips My wife is planning a very exciting vacation to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary. This was a big surprise to me. Not the vacation part, but the 35 years. I thought it was 34. Right now she is on the back porch, the patio table stacked high with

    July 28, 2014

  • WEEKLY WRAP: Legal marriages should be honored Legal marriages should be honoredAn eager and probably nervous couple stands before a minister or a judge or a county clerk and exchanges vows, accepting the legal, moral and ethical obligations of a marriage.The couple has properly obtained a marria

    July 28, 2014

  • Right-to-work unnecessary It has been a crime for Indiana employers to enter into labor contracts that require workers to pay union dues since Feb. 1, 2012 — the day then-Gov. Mitch Daniels signed legislation making the Hoosier State a “right-to-work” state.Whether Indiana ke

    July 27, 2014

  • ED VASICEK: Happy marriages do not just happen My wife, Marylu, and I met through a mutual friend. My wife had been involved with Campus Crusade at her university, where my friend, Norman, also attended. One Christmas break, Norman invited his friends from church (including me) to a party — along

    July 27, 2014

  • LETTERS: Putting economics before responsibility Veterans, retirees need tax deductionsAre you receiving either an Indiana property tax Veterans Disability Deduction or an Over 65 Deduction? I was, however, this year I learned otherwise. My property taxes payable this year, as compared to the prope

    July 27, 2014

  • MICHAEL HICKS: Truth about inflation Almost nothing in economics seems to confuse people as much as monetary inflation. That confusion leaves an intellectual void into which some of the least credible ideas of the modern world crawl.Goods and services typically have a price dictated in

    July 27, 2014

  • CHEERS & JEERS: Livestock donations appreciated; what's a GMO? Thanks to folks at Kokomo BeachCarrie Giannakos, professional relations coordinator at Jarrell Orthodontics, sends this Cheer on behalf of the dental practice:“Dr. Kevin Jarrell and the team at Jarrell Orthodontics want to send a Cheer to the staff a

    July 26, 2014

  • RAY DAY: Some laws will do us in In my opinion, we have made laws that are contrary to what they were intended. And this writer is going to let you in on his thoughts about them. One of the things that has been processed incorrectly is the child abuse law. When you tell the parent h

    July 26, 2014

Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground
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