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Knicely Done: Spreading kindness by mending fences

Published: Oct. 29, 2020 at 3:47 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Melissa Kaminitc was jolted awake at 4:30 in the morning about a year ago. The loud crash in her backyard was caused when someone drove into her backyard fence and promptly drove away.

“Then June 1 this past summer a lady drove through my fence again in the same section and knocked over a light pole,” she explained in an interview with Six News.

The lady had no insurance.

Melissa’s neighbor Brian Hershey already knew that she had her hands full with everyday life.

“She is caring for her younger grandson and her mother, a cancer survivor, plus two part-time jobs and COVID had removed part of her income source,” he explained. “She was doing everything she can to take care of her family and so she just needed a little bit of help. So my wife and I felt like we can do something for her.”

Brian serves as Director of Campus Life Military, a teenage ministry. He and his wife pulled the group together for a day of service in Melissa’s backyard. Their goal was to use their collective muscle and completely tear down the old damaged fence.

“It’s a way that we can help teach our kids to not be so myopic and to not look at their own self-interests all the time and see the needs that are in the community. To reach out and do a random act of kindness and just to help people.”

Clearly, the high schoolers embraced the idea. In less than an hour, most of the fence was overflowing in the large dumpster in Melissa’s driveway. She, by the way, was working right alongside the energetic teenagers.

“They went over and beyond what I ever expected,” she exclaimed. “And they’re having a lot of fun doing this and doing a lot of work. I really appreciate it so much.”

Swinging one of the heavy sledgehammers was Bellevue East junior, John Humphrey.

“We’re a group of military kids and we’re really tight-knit group,” he said. “We do bible study, group service projects and have lots of fun!”

Annabelle Netherton is a junior at Bellevue West. When her military family lived in Michigan she did a lot of hard work on a farm so the mission of tearing down a fence seemed easy enough. More importantly, was the reason they were doing it.

“I feel joy,” she said. “I feel like I can actually get something done and make somebody happy and less stressed and not worry about everything. And they can just go ahh, and take a deep breath and not have everything happen to them.”

Brian and his wife Bonnie put the word out about the project and a number of donors stepped forward to pay for a new fence along with three churches in the Metro area.

Mission accomplished!

Knicely Done!

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