Helping others in light of this pandemic


Kiki Katsumata-Smith

The Collins brothers with dad, JD Collins.

Sophia Bouwkamp, Staff Writer

Although this pandemic has left us out of school and away from the people we love, the Collins family found a way to bring joy into someone else’s life. JD Collins, Ben ‘20 and Nick’s ‘23 dad, heard that his older friend, Jim, needed help and in response, he offered up his family to help with his yard work, including tree removal. 

“Jim was incapable of moving it, as much as he wanted to, so we went to help,” Ben said. The Collins boys moved the tree branches downhill and into the woods, so it was out of sight of Jim’s window. “We moved them away from his window because he had a pretty view into the woods,” Ben said.

“Jim lets my dad and Nick hunt on his land,” Ben said. Like so many of us during this time, they took the opportunity to help others. 

The Collins’ brought a chain saw with them and they cut up all of the trees from the backyard which had the biggest trees, and they moved the scraps downhill. Then they went to the front yard where there were smaller trees. They had to move some stumps and they moved those by hand. The piles were huge, they covered a good portion of Jim’s yard. 

While the boys were able to be outside on a nice day, they also were helping a friend, which we can all do, especially during this time. 

“It’s a nice thing to do for an elderly man who can’t do what younger people can do, a good day to get outside. Stuck in quarantine, so it’s good to get exercise and it was a good family project,” Nick said. 

The boys enjoyed assisting Jim and knew how much he appreciated their kindness. Especially in these times, kindness is crucial and we see the world relying on Classical Republicanism, which is when people do things for the greater good of their community and make sacrifices for others. 

Nick exemplified this when he said, “It felt good, in this time of need, it feels good to help people in need. Especially with the elderly are at high risk with COVID-19 and not being able to lift things. It just felt good to help him.”

While they were chopping and moving the wood, they used a wood splitter that Jim created and engineered himself. “My dad is in awe of it, when he sees it in action,” Nick said. Jim created the wood splitter out of parts that he had on his farm and it’s inspiring to the boys to see how innovative Jim was when he created his splitter. 

Jim felt compelled to pay them, but they denied his money, so “he gave us flowers for us to bring back to my mom, and she loved them,” Nick said. Ben also appreciated the flowers and said, “it was very kind.” 

Kindness is contagious and makes everyone around happier especially in these dark times.