Archived Story

Good neighbors extend hand in time of need

Published 3:34pm Monday, March 4, 2013

Dear Editor,

Dadeville and the surrounding communities are truly examples of a “good neighbor.”

As our family suffered the death of a loved one in a house fire Feb. 7, the neighbors came together. Many of the residents in the Smith Mountain area came to the immediate need – people we had never had the opportunity to get to know – to put their arms around the family and pray.

Before  the embers had died, the American Red Cross in Alexander City was knocking on the door to offer assistance.

Several area pastors came to be with the family, including the Rev. Carl Stokes of Bethel Baptist Church, the Rev. Mike Beck of New Life Baptist Church, the Rev. Jamey Williams of Rock Springs Baptist Church and the Rev. Jeff Dye.

There were gifts of clothing, gifts of money, gifts of food, gifts of encouragement and gifts of consoling. There were gifts by the people who came and cleaned and prepared the home for the return of the family.

Everybody came together in one accord and gave of themselves to help someone in need.

Several community fire departments, as well as the Dadeville Fire Department, brought in equipment to contain the fire.  Many of these people were unpaid volunteers who gave the greatest gift they had available – themselves – to help someone in need.

The Lake Martin Ambulance Service responded immediately to transport and transfer a family member to the local hospital and then to East Alabama Medical Center.

Sheriff Jimmy Abbett and staff of the Tallapoosa County Sheriff’s Department were there to secure the site and provide updates to the family. Dadeville Police Chief David Barber offered any assistance that his department could provide.

Alabama Funeral Homes, Carl Pritchard, and staff provided professional compassion to the family.

The United States Navy honor guard was in attendance to provide honor to one of their veterans.

The local and state news has been inundated of late with negative comments about the City of Dadeville, the town of Jackson’s Gap and other local communities. I am fully convinced that the people of these areas have hearts as big as the sky. All these people love their neighbor and love the area that they have chosen to call home.  Family, friends, neighbors, even strangers and many churches used this opportunity to show love to the family.

This was a very tragic event, but our “good neighbors” helped us get through it.

At every opportunity, we will lift up to our Almighty God each of these people – maybe not by name but by deed. Thank each of you for being our good neighbor and for standing tall with us during this time of need.

God Bless each of you.

The family of Kenneth Caldwell