Kindness in community noticed

Shaina James

From living in the Upper Peninsula for almost four years, I have learned a few things about the people of this region.

One: they are very proud to be “Yoopers,” and two: they are some of the friendliest and kindest people I have ever met.

Recently there have been a couple local events which have proved this to be true.

On Friday, Jan. 18, Morris Melby, a Gwinn resident, had his farmhouse, which was over a century old, go up in flames.

Before he and his dog could escape, Melby suffered from second-degree burns on his face.

Firefighters fought the fire throughout the night and Melby was taken to the hospital by friends who had shown up at the scene. Other people took Melby’s dog Ginger to their home and looked after her.

After being separated from Melby, Ginger barked hysterically. The two have been staying at friends’ homes a couple nights at a time. Wherever Melby goes Ginger follows. He still spends time on his property, which has been in his family since 1933.

A spaghetti dinner fundraiser—Magic for Morris—will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2 at the American Legion Hall in Little Lake. Their main goal is to get a house on the property for Melby.

If this were to happen in any other place but the great U.P., I question whether or not this man and his dog would be cared for by such a passionate group of people.

Not only did people take Melby and his dog into their own home, but they are also determined to raise money for the construction of  a new home for Melby.

Another event that left a man saying thank you to the U.P. community happened on Sunday, Jan. 20.

A Lower Peninsula man named Scott Wilson was driving home from Copper Harbor when he collided with another car due to  whiteout conditions. Wilson was 20 miles east of Marquette with his dog sitting in the back seat.

When Wilson went to go see how bad the damage was, his dog escaped from the car and ran toward the woods.

Wilson had to go to the hospital due to injuries, leaving his dog behind.

However, due to a group of people who utilized social media, Wilson was reconnected with his dog the following evening. It turned out that Wilson and his dog had their own Facebook group created by locals in order to help find the dog.

Because of a community effort, what could have been two devastating events turned out to be heartwarming acts of kindness that people around the world do not get to witness very often these days.

Whether it is because people of the U.P. live a more laid-back lifestyle or there is a more sense of community in the U.P., people have found time to help others in need and go way beyond what is expected.

It is instances like these when a student appreciates the local acts of kindness bestowed upon strangers without a moment of question. U.P. residents make this community a truly special place to live.