Reasons we're thankful

By Baker City Herald Editorial Board November 21, 2012 08:46 am

On this eve of Thanksgiving we celebrate a couple of reasons — and there are many more, to be sure — why we’re thankful we live in Baker County.

The first involves the generosity of someone who seeks no recognition for a wonderful deed.

We got a call last week from Joann Wellman at All In One Wireless in Baker City. The business is participating in the annual Coats For Kids campaign, which, despite its name, actually collects winter coats for people of all ages.

Joann told us that a customer, who requested anonymity, donated $3,000 — enough to buy 76 new coats.

As much as we’d like to know the identity of this donor — it would make a great story, after all — we also appreciate that the joy of helping others can be far more powerful and lasting than being recognized publicly for doing so.

The bottom line is that almost six dozen local residents will be warmer this winter.

The second bright light hasn’t sought attention for her achievements, either. But Nanette Lehman hasn’t the luxury of requesting anonymity.

Lehman, who teaches second grade at Haines Elementary — a rather conspicuous job — was recently honored as Oregon’s Teacher of the Year for 2012-13.

To put it another way, Lehman is among the very best practitioners of a profession whose importance can hardly be exaggerated.

Were you assembling the kind of community that people would clamor to move to, excellent schools and philanthropic residents would be two of the most vital blocks of its foundation.

Baker County has both.

Which makes us fortunate indeed.