See something, say something

Published 4:45 pm Wednesday, May 17, 2023

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“If you see something, say something” is a national campaign of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security aimed at raising awareness of the signs of terrorism, related crime, and how to report suspicious activity.

Other organizations and agencies use the mantra too, as a means of encouraging persons who witness illegal behavior to step up and speak out, but individuals can, and should adopt the campaign to acknowledge good deeds and influence positive outcomes.

Here’s why it matters.

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Advocate sales manager David Lovell covered a college commitment ceremony for Greenville High School student athlete Christian Hill. Afterwards, Lovell received a call from Hill’s grandmother to thank him for covering the event.

Lovell took the opportunity to ask a few questions and during the interview, the grandmother expressed pride in Hill’s accomplishments. The phone call prompted more conversations with Hill’s family.

Lovell learned more details of the student athlete’s academic and athletic achievements and was able to craft a clearer representation of what a student can achieve with hard work and dedication.

Lowndes County residents said something this week too, and helped to affect one change that will impact the county for four more years.

County engineer David Butts submitted his resignation to the Lowndes County Commission on April 24. Once residents learned of his upcoming departure, they began calling. Residents from across the county called Butts, and the commission, requesting he stay and continue his work toward paving and repairing the county’s roads.

In an interview with the Lowndes Signal, Butts said leaving the 45 would be difficult. Later, when he rescinded his resignation, he said learning how much people cared about him had made all the difference in his decision to stay.

“I’ve always loved Lowndes County, but I didn’t realize Lowndes County loved me,” Butts said. 

Lowndes County saw something – someone they valued was leaving. And so, they said something, “Please stay.” 

Because they spoke out, Butts is staying and understands how valued he is in the community.

Luverne resident Diane Richardson is an encourager. She takes advantage of every opportunity to call, text, or send a note, uplifting those she has observed doing good things.

In January, The Luverne Journal published a feature highlighting the way Richardson shares her message of hope with the community. Since then, she has sent thank you notes, encouraging texts, and made a few phone calls to encourage Journal staff.

Almost every week, I receive a text from Richardson, thanking me for our community coverage. It’s a much-needed boost, to me and others on our staff, a reminder of why we strive to write the stories that matter to our readers.

When you see something, say something. Report illegal, unethical, or otherwise harmful actions and behaviors to the proper authorities. 

And, take time to observe those who may need a word or two that lifts their spirits and lets them know they are valued. By doing so, you have the opportunity to make a difference in lives and in communities.