Community is at the heart of Brookhaven

Published 9:53pm Saturday, March 22, 2014

In a town like Brookhaven and a region like Southwest Mississippi, it should come as no surprise that “Community (Churches, Civic Organizations, Clubs) was the top vote getter in The Daily Leader’s online poll last week.

We asked the question, “What area do you think shows the most promise in the local area in 2014-15?” We gave as our multiple-choice options the five section titles from The Daily Leader’s Progress 2014 special edition that was published last Sunday. Besides “Community,” which netted 42 percent of the votes (as of midday Saturday), the other choices were Business/Industry,” with 34 percent; “Education,” with 11 percent; “Health,” with 8 percent; and “Government,” with 5 percent.

Although, as we’ve pointed out before, our online polls are certainly not a scientific sampling of the community, we believe the choice of “Community” is what is in the majority of people’s minds and hearts when it comes to achieving the best future for this place we call home.

And much progress in the other areas of business/industry, education, health and government can also be accomplished through a strong grassroots community effort.

A small example of that kind of “working-together” ethic can be found in our story last week about Belt Line Buddy, a stray dog that suffered a severe injury.

Local residents, often unbeknownst to each other, were feeding the shy stray and keeping him alive, but no one could coax him close and get him to a veterinarian for treatment.

Finally, a resident came forward with a humane trap, and Buddy was gathered up and carried to the vet. Local residents came up with the money to pay the bill, and now Buddy is waiting for a special person or family to adopt him. To see all the details about Buddy’s story and the many people who came to his aid, check out our online version of the article at

While Buddy’s story is just plain heartwarming and is only one small example of the love and charity that abound in this special place, another recent story shows a different kind of working-together community effort.

Visitors to South Church Street last Saturday, March 15, saw the fruits of that endeavor. A St. Patrick’s Day Parade brought a touch of Ireland to Brookhaven and gave neighbors along the thoroughfare an opportunity to get out, enjoy the show and catch a string of holiday beads.

Initiated by two local women who wanted to create a parade for children, the event coincided with one of the pair’s son’s birthday. Rather than just have cake and refreshments for family and close friends, the entire neighborhood got to share in the fun as children and adults alike walked and rode in the festive procession. Plans call for an even bigger and better St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Brookhaven next year. To see more about how the parade came together, you can view the story on our website.

These are just two examples of community effort in Brookhaven, but they serve to show the things that can be accomplished by people coming together without the umbrella of an organized effort. Our town, county and region also have many churches, civic organizations and clubs that are doing the same kinds of things.

We challenge each member of our community to do his or her part to initiate and sustain progress in our hometown in the coming months. And when you do, send us an email or call us to let us know what you have going on – we want to share the story with our readers.