OKEECHOBEE — The spirit of kindness is alive and well in Okeechobee, as evidenced by an outpouring of generosity by community members this week.
On Tuesday morning, Shannon Louthan Davis posted on the Okeechobee Bartering site on Facebook: “What is one thing you NEED that you cannot afford right now? Let’s check and see what others say. Maybe you have it and don’t need it or have a connection to get it. (I saw this on another community page, and it was amazing some of the kindness that was shown.) Have a great week. NO SELLING, if you’re offering something on here to someone, it means you’re GIVING it to them for FREE!”
By Tuesday morning, there were hundreds of comments as some posters asked for help, and others offered help.
The impromptu exchange quickly starting matching up people who needed things — a large dresser, clothes for a child, a dog crate and more — with people who had things to give away.
Some people asked for luxuries and big-ticket items, and were gently rebuffed by others with comments like, “Me, too!” or “Dream on!” But most requests were simple, genuine needs, and others responded with compassion.
Quickly people in need were matched with available items. A young man who had lost strength due to chemotherapy was matched with a woman who had an exercise bike to give away. Those seeking food were matched with food pantries. A disabled person was put in contact with someone to help her put up a tarp.
Items taking up space in garages and attics were put back into use. Toys children had outgrown went to delighted new owners.
And the list keeps growing — go online to https://www.facebook.com/groups/okeebartering to see all these needs of people being happily met by others who care — or maybe you can help them yourselves!
“I was helped with a fur baby crate. Thank you so much in this time of need. I love our great little country town — people help out when they can. I pay it forward through a fast food line when I can or if a mama doesn’t have enough cash at the checkout line, if I’m able I’ll help,” shared Tonya Bogard.