OKEECHOBEE — In this world, there are three, maybe four, types of people — those who help others, those who sit and wait for someone to help them, and then there are those who care only about themselves. This last category includes those who go into the grocery stores and buy all the toilet paper because they are afraid they might need it, without stopping to think that others might need some, too. Whether it also includes the people who deliberately bought toilet paper and are now selling it on the internet for $50 is up for debate. Maybe they need their own category, which would be the fourth type.
When we look at the shelves of our grocery stores, we might be tempted to think there are more of the selfish people than there are of the good people around here. How many rolls of toilet paper do people need, anyway? But, if we really look around, we can see there are good people working behind the scenes. Matt Buxton is one of those people. When he heard about all the women and men working to make masks for health care workers around Okeechobee, he immediately volunteered to help.
Mr. Buxton is the president and funeral director of Buxton & Bass Okeechobee Funeral Home and Crematory. He has lasers in his workshop that are capable of cutting just about any material, including fabric, and he thought he would offer his services to all the people making masks. If they wanted to bring in their fabric, he could cut out the shapes they wanted and save them a lot of time. He even had several patterns available to choose from. Anyone who is making masks to donate and would like to take him up on his offer can call 863-634-3706.
Mr. Buxton cut his first batch of masks out on Saturday morning and it went smoothly. His only comment was that the University of Miami fabric should be thrown away, not made into a mask.
Masks are not the only thing Mr. Buxton cuts out with his lasers, of course. He uses them in his business to engrave caskets and urns and monuments. In addition, he engraves plaques likes the ones he did for Taste of Okeechobee and he makes wall hangings of every shape and size imaginable. He makes key chains and jewelry and name badges and wedding announcements. He recently made the medallions for the FFA’s Run Your Boots Off 5K fundraiser. He works with wood, metal, paper and now fabric. Many of the things he makes are donated to local charities and events like the FFA fundraiser. Mr. Buxton has a soft heart like his father did, and it is hard for him to say no.
When you find yourself becoming cynical and thinking everyone is out for himself or herself, remember: There are people like Mr. Buxton out there behind the scenes doing things you don’t know about to try to make life a little better for someone else.