Seeing a need, meeting a need

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Sometimes it only takes a well-placed word or a reminder of aneed for the wheels of action to start turning.

The Brookhaven Fire Department and children across the communitycan be thankful for that happening with L. Ralph Smith. The need inthis case was paying off the balance of the Firepup mascot suit thefire department uses to teach children about fire safety.

“I was aware of the needs months ago when it was in the paper,”Smith said in a recent story about his latest philanthropicefforts. “It’s been on my mind, so I asked about it.”

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Smith’s inquiry revealed that $850 was still needed to pay offthe $1,000 suit.

Smith, a former city alderman, presented the matter to his LionsClub, which stepped forward with a donation, and then Smith lobbiedfriends and associates for more. Through Smith’s work, the suit hasbeen paid off.

In 2003, Smith and his wife Doris were recognized as UnsungHeroes in The DAILY LEADER’s annual FOCUS edition. The reportrecognized the members of the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer fortheir “see a need, meet that need” approach to helping others.

With his work on the recent fire department project, L. RalphSmith continues to “see a need, meet a need.”