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Editor's Letter

About eight weeks ago, I called Sherri Gardner Howell, my good friend and one of VIP’s favorite freelance writers.

Sherri can handle pretty much any writing task, which is why I call on her so often. She brings creativity and heart to every story. This time I thought I might stump her. We needed her to find a common thread connecting a young man making vanilla extract to raise money for charity and two women who have written a children’s book. And, of course, she found it.

Sherri drew her inspiration from the parable of the starfish: A man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean. Approaching the boy, he asked, “What are you doing?” “Throwing starfish back into the ocean,” he replied. “The surf is up, and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.” “Son,” the man said, “don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t make a difference!” The boy listened politely then bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the surf. “I made a difference for that one,” he answered.

As you’ll read in Sherri’s story, “The Power of One,” William Cabaniss, Paula Osborn and her family and Shelton H. Shelton each made a difference. It’s good to remind ourselves, especially these days, of the power of one--and the power of a few. As Margaret Mead wrote: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

So, my friends, take inspiration from these stories. Head into the surf and find your starfish.


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