Tell Me Something Good 12/5/21

Tell Me Something Good logo. Image by Lenny Ghoul and Word Clouds.

The news these days is often depressing at worst and frustrating at best. It’s easy to let it get us down. Never fear… The News Blender has you covered. Once a week we feature Something Good and, in return, all you have to do is tell us something good that has happened to you this week, something you are thankful for, a joke, a cute animal story, an inspiring tale of heroics, a Random Act of Kindness… SOMETHING good.

Today’s something good is helping one another during this season of light.

The Des Moines neighborhood Dale and Julie Marks live in has a decades long tradition of elaborately decking out their homes for Christmas, according to KCCI. Better yet, the traffic the displays garner is used for a good cause: the residents take donations from the appreciative viewers for the Food Bank of Iowa. Last year, the donations from Christmas Light Tour Food Drive provided 28,000 meals.

Unfortunately, Dale and Julie both contracted Covid in September. While Julie recovered, Dale had two strokes and a heart attack following his Covid infection. “It’s a miracle I’m still alive,” he said. Dale spent 28 days in the hospital and when he came home, he was not able to put up his light display.

Dale fretted about it and Julie worried their house might be the only dark one in the neighborhood. He and Julie thought about hiring someone to put up the lights for them, but someone they didn’t even know saved the day.

Bob Coffey, a Des Moines contractor who is affectionately known as “Bob the Builder”, has long enjoyed the neighborhood light show. When he was a child, his parents took him to see it every year and last year he took a couple dozen family members to drive around the Markes’ neighborhood.

When he heard of their situation, Bob offered to help and the couple gratefully accepted. He gathered a handful of friends to install the vast amount of lights. Dale supervised from his porch and joined in the laughter when Bob lit up the display a la Clark Griswald by plugging two cords together. The volunteers got the job done in four hours and Dale wept when he viewed the results of their labor.

“When we got done, I just told him to have a great night and to take care of himself,” Bob said. “The memory of that afternoon will last a lifetime.”

“As I sat out and watched, I was in tears watching Bob and his whole crew finish our lights. He’s truly a person near to my heart,” Dale said.

Julie said, “He knows it’s a blessing, and this is the time of blessings and thankfulness so we are going forward and we’re going to raise as much money for the food bank as we can.”

The display opened December 4 and will be all the more beautiful this year for the additional hands making it happen.

Helping one another in a time of need is something good. Now it’s your turn… tell me something good!

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