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July 16, 2012

Feel Better Reads

Want to feel better about America? This story's a good place to start:

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Johnny Karlinchak, 8, was stunned when he saw that a 60-foot oak tree had crashed through his neighbor’s house in Springfield during last month’s storm . He immediately ran to his piggy bank, retrieved five quarters and handed them to her.

An hour later, he was standing behind a lemonade stand with a scribbled sign: “Mrs. Myers building fund.” He has put up his lemonade stand two more times, including on Saturday, and plans to continue doing so until he raises his neighbors’ $500 insurance deductible.

This was reflexive for Johnny.

While many people whose homes are intact have moved on from the storm, Johnny knows something about perseverance. He knows more than most 8-year-olds about compassion and surviving trauma.

“Being 8 years old, he’s experienced a lot in his lifetime,” said his mother, Donna Karlinchak.

Four years ago, he lost his 6-year-old sister, Kelly, in a car accident, and the neighbors rallied around Johnny and his family so much that they did not have to cook a meal for nine months. He saw his neighbors help raise $38,000 for a huge, state-of-the-art playground structure dedicated to Kelly at the swim center where the family plays.

Likewise, in the aftermath of her daughter’s death, Karlinchak started to come out of the darkest time of grief by extending herself to children in need.

She would regularly have Johnny around as her assistant. He would count the pajamas they were donating to a pajama program or tag along with her to a shelter.

“He just wants to help,” Karlinchak said.

Friday evening after work, I downloaded The President's Club to my Kindle Fire. It's the perfect antidote to the growing sense that politics is all about partisanship and cynicism.

Finally, VC commenter extraordinaire Eric Hines has written not one, but two books! That's an amazing achievement. Check out his sidebar for more information.

Posted by Cassandra at July 16, 2012 08:20 AM

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Comments

VC commenter extraordinaire Eric Hines has written not one, but two books!

Thank you, Ma'am. For both aspects of that.

Eric Hines

Posted by: E Hines at July 16, 2012 03:14 PM

I can't even get a blog post written most days, so I'm in awe of you :p

Posted by: Cass at July 16, 2012 03:46 PM

I can't even get a blog post written most days....

You're doing fine from my perspective. I don't know how you write so much. My stuff is pretty short and simple.

Eric Hines

Posted by: E Hines at July 16, 2012 03:54 PM

Well done, sir.

Posted by: htom at July 18, 2012 05:53 PM

Thank you

Posted by: E Hines at July 19, 2012 12:41 AM

Whee! And to think we knew you when.

Impressive, sir.

Posted by: Carolyn at July 21, 2012 01:01 AM

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