A lot of bad news swirls around us constantly and it's easy to get jaded by the negativity. People seem to remember the bad and forget the good. That's just human nature. But there's lots of good out there as well, and we saw a couple of great examples last week.
On Monday, Highlands Today reported that an anonymous donor wrote a check for $25,000 to buy the Sebring High School's Spirit of Sebring Marching Band badly needed uniforms.
The old uniforms were threadbare, stinky and hot, according to band members. If you looked at them closely, it was apparent they weren't well suited for a Florida marching band. The new uniforms are sleek, light and look sharp.
The band has been raising money for a few years, but a bad economy hasn't helped much and the coffers weren't filling quickly enough. Many band boosters had resigned themselves to a long slog before new uniforms could ever be purchased. Someone heard about the need and wrote a big check. The excitement by everyone involved in the band was overwhelming, and rightfully so.
It showed that while so many athletic activities receive funding, some people believed that other school programs deserve adequate funding as well. It was refreshing to see, and considering the work that goes into directing and participating in a marching band, this is a great gift.
Another bit of good news came later in the week, when it was announced that 14 of the dogs seized after an alleged dog fighting ring was busted have found new homes. Although two of the original 16 had to be put down due to aggressiveness, others are being shipped to Texas, Kansas, North Carolina and Homestead. Others will be adopted out as well.
Thousands of Highlands County residents have been following reports of these dogs, wanting justice and showing their compassion for dogs that have had a terrible life so far. More than $4,500 was raised to help the county with the cost of handling these dogs.
So many people are to be congratulated for their efforts with these dogs. The Highlands County Sheriff's Office, animal control, the humane society and countless volunteers have done all they can to treat these poor animals humanely and show them love they've never felt.
Both of last week's news items put smiles on a lot of faces and warmed a lot of hearts. Yes, there are plenty of bad things going on, and there always will be, but we should never let it overshadow the good things that also play out every day here in Highlands County.
Caring, compassionate people spend countless hours doing positive things for people and animals. Their contributions should never be overshadowed by the bad news of the day.