Rufus Beason eats breakfast almost every morning at Hardee's in North Columbus with a group of other retired men. One particular morning, Beason saw Columbus Police Department Patrol Officer Canyon Boykin come into the restaurant. He has known Boykin for years; the policeman is a longtime friend of Beason's grandson.
The gifts are small -- a stuffed animal, pencils, a pretty hair clip, bar of soap or tiny model car. But they deliver a powerful message. One that says, "You are not forgotten. Someone cares." To a little girl in an orphanage in Rwanda, or a boy living in a Peruvian village hut, or in any of more than 100 other underserved countries, the modest gifts can make a difference.
Several days ago, Karen Johnwick stepped into the dingy, cramped and cracked building that only a few weeks ago was home to the Columbus-Lowndes Humane Society. "When I walked in I wondered again -- how did we work here so long?" the shelter's executive director said.