There are so many negative stories about the Internet and all the scoundrels who use it to cheat the innocent and worse, and even more stories about the “old” news media that uses its power to show us everything bad about the world, that when something really good happens in the media, it makes my day. This time it made my week.
Perhaps you know about the story of Noah Lemaide, a 12-year-old who lives about an hour down the road from us. It was in all the papers around here, and by the end of last week Noah’s story was on the CBS Evening News.
I never met Noah, but only had to take one look at his website—Noah’s Dream Catcher Network—to know that our future is in good hands, and that when Noah’s generation is in charge, Uncle Sam won’t necessarily be the first person we look to to solve our problems.
If you haven’t seen the story, here’s a summary: This young man has been helping people for a long time. On his eighth birthday, he asked his friends forget about giving gifts to him and to give instead to a local food pantry. When he was 10, he launched the website and raised enough money to send a friend to Disney World with her mom who was dying from cancer. This January, Noah began raising money to save his grandmother’s house from foreclosure.
And he did it.
When our family gets together we talk a lot about the nation’s problems and what the solutions might be. Our oldest, a sociology major at Colorado College, makes the point that many of the problems are too large and that our government must be involved in helping people who are not able to help themselves. And she’s right.
But it’s nice to know that as individuals we can make a difference if we choose to. We can look in our own neighborhoods—you won’t have to look far to find someone who is having a hard time—and we can take our cues from Noah. A 12-year-old who knows that it can be done, helping one person at a time.
Thanks, Noah, for showing us the goodness of the Internet, and to the news media for helping to spread the word. Here's a link to the CBS Evening News report.
Shifting gears a little, I saw something on one of my favorite television programs yesterday that made me think. Bill Flanagan's plea to the “gossip press and scandal media” to let Whitney Houston rest in peace probably won’t make a difference, but wouldn’t it be wonderful if it happened? Houston had her demons and we all know that. How about just this once, we stay focused on her incredible musical gift and the light that she shared with the world.