Quick Takes editorial: Good news — 3 stories to celebrate

Three recent Republic stories about local individuals’ charitable efforts are inspiring and worth celebrating.

Ethan’s Table set to serve plenty more

When he was a fifth-grader at Smith Elementary a couple of years ago, in the early months of the pandemic, Ethan Reynolds knew people were struggling. He decided to use $10 of his own money to buy food and give it away from a folding table in front of his house on 13th Street. He invited visitors to “take-what-you-need” or donate what they could to help their neighbors.

“Although most Americans worried about avoiding the virus, the Reynolds family discovered that caring and generosity are also contagious,” The Republic’s Mark Webber wrote, reporting that Ethan’s Table now has a new home at the America and Roby Anderson Community Center, 421 McClure Road.

Meanwhile, Ethan’s become something of a celebrity, interviewed on national television and building a social media following for Ethan’s Table that counts thousands of followers.

But more significantly, Ethan’s Table can now serve plenty who need help because the donations keep coming. “I plan to keep it going for as long as I can,” Ethan said. “But maybe we might hand it over to someone else some day in the future.”

Thanks, Ethan, and thanks to those who’ve supported and continue to support a worthy cause that’s making a direct difference in people’s lives. Pretty solid return on a $10 investment.

Simple gifts: The fabric of our community

Connie West has a gift for knitting and crocheting — a gift she’s worked to make thoughtful, personal gifts for children transitioning to foster care and for residents of personal shelters.

As The Republic’s Brian Blair reported, West recently donated 70 fleece scarves to residents of the Brighter Days emergency shelter in Columbus. Last year, her homespun, handcrafted gifts of fleece blankets were warmly received by Beloved, which helps children transitioning to foster care.

West also has given her handiwork gifts to volunteers at Love Chapel Food Pantry, where she regularly volunteers.

A four-time cancer survivor, West, 71, seems selfless, humble about her own creative gifts. “If I have that, I am sure that I got it from God,” she told Blair. “I grew up in a fairly cold house. And partly because of that, maybe that’s why I have a heart for other, less fortunate people who have had problems.”

West’s is a heartwarming story fitting for the coldest days of winter.

Columbus climber’s adventure raises funds

South Side Elementary teacher Mark Yeaton has a thirst for adventure that just doesn’t seem to quit, and that’s good news for the many charities near and far that his exploits have benefitted.

Yeaton, with an experienced crew from Indianapolis, recently summited Mount Kilimanjaro — at 19,341 feet, Africa’s highest peak — in a climb that also conquered a fundraising goal of $20,000. Christian-based Fellowship of Associates of Medical Evangelism will use that money to build the Kisumu Kenya Clinic near the mountain.

“I’ve never been so privileged to walk so slowly to such heights for the good of so many people,” Yeaton said after the climb through five climate zones.

Yeaton, who’ll soon turn 60, previously biked for numerous charitable causes locally and across the globe. His example is a lesson in a life well lived in service to others.