There was a lot to celebrate this past week, including the safe recovery of a 12-year-old child on the autism spectrum who went missing in Carthage on Tuesday night.
The good news was not only that the boy was OK, but the immediate and overwhelming response of the Carthage community.
Hundreds of volunteers poured out to help late Tuesday after Carthage police Chief Greg Dagnan put out the word on social media.
"Suddenly people just started showing up," he told the Globe. Officers began organizing search teams and assigning them to specific locations.
“Evangel Assembly of God Church was wonderful. They opened the church for us,” Dagnan said.
“Our guys who were running the show there said they estimated 300 to 400 volunteers. That doesn’t count the hundreds of people who just showed up or were driving the streets. They had 50 teams out, anywhere between five to 10 people in a team, and they would search an area, then come back.”
After learning that the boy could be attracted to light, Johnathan Waddell and other volunteers with The Myers Inn Haunted Hotel brought out a spotlight to see if they could help. The boy appeared minutes later.
Well done, Carthage.
We also want to take a moment to celebrate all the volunteers who pitched in around the region Thursday to provide Thanksgiving meals at area churches, at the Carthage Crisis Center, at the Salvation Army in Joplin and Neosho's Hope Kitchen.
These people give up their holiday to make it happen for others.
A final shout out to Jerry Coach, who has been making Christmas happen for area children for 40 years.
What began in 1979 with him passing out toys to at least 70 children living in the Picher, Oklahoma, area has grown to the point that this year Coach plans to give new toys and gifts to more than 500 children living in the region.
“Each year after the 10th anniversary, it kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger,” Coach told us.
He estimates he’s now helped more than 30,000 children.
What an example and inspiration to the rest of us.