Principal Henry Darby
Today’s news is certainly all over the place when it comes to content and tone, and for many of us reading the news is akin to opening a suitcase only to find an explosive device. Every morning millions of Americans wake up and open their phones, newspapers, or computers to discover the latest news of the day, and some may certainly approach it with a level of apprehension. With a 24-hour news cycle becoming a more common phenomenon since the rise of smartphones and social platforms, news has become a common element of many people’s lives.

As the old adage goes, “no news is good news,” for we can assume that everything is going smoothly without evidence to the contrary. But when is news actually good news? Many feel-good stories about people showing their true humanity often get buried, and oh so rarely do positive stories make national headlines. We take our eyes towards news in a more local atmosphere, where there is a larger presence of stories related to people serving their community, helping others, and helping the world become a better place, one good deed at a time. Here, is where we stumble upon the everyday hero that finds a way to give back.

I came across a story recently on ABC news about Henry Darby, a Principal of a High School in South Carolina. Darby is a long-time educator, and as such has very close ties to his students as well as the school at which he is employed. Not long ago, Henry Darby discovered that two of his students were homeless, and had done what they can to make a shelter underneath a nearby bridge. Over time, several other situations came to light regarding homelessness, food insecurity, and financial insecurities of both current and former students.

Henry Darby, who is now a hailed as his community’s guardian angel, chose to act instead of stand by. The high school Principal acquired a second job, working at a local Wal-Mart from 10pm-7am restocking shelves three nights a week. The intent, which proved to be an astounding success, was to donate 100% of his wages from his position at Wal-Mart to families, students, and other community members in need. Darby’s actions have benefitted many people of the North Charleston community, and his story even went viral. As word about Henry Darby spread, donations started to come in, and in no short supply. Soon, Darby received over $100,000 in total donations, and once Wal-Mart heard the news the company donated an additional $50,000 dollars to Henry Darby’s high school.

It’s the everyday heroes that help our communities minimize income disparities among residents. There has been a rise in such actions that include coming together to pay student lunch debts, donations of clothes and furniture, and many others that have helped families across America begin a new day. Its no surprise that we look to our small communities to enrich each other, as homelessness, hunger, and other financial insecurities are a very large piece of our current reality. Reaching out to community organizations are a great first step in helping others, and if you are curious about where to go, there are many options:

  • Feeding America
  • Meals on Wheels
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • American Red Cross
  • Boys and Girls Club

Among many others. All of these charities work nationally within the USA, and donations received monetarily or otherwise go right down to the members of the community that need it most.

So when they say “no news is good news,” that isn’t always necessarily the case. They key is to look beyond the major national stories and into the current events of your local community. Its here we find the everyday heroes, they are our friends, teachers, coworkers, and colleagues. Whether your actions are of great stature, such as Henry Darby and his second job, or even just an hour here and there volunteering, you, too can be an everyday hero that makes a big difference.