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12/26 GALLERY

TIFFANY TOMPKINS-CONDIE

ttompkins@bradenton.com

Gallery is a weekly photographic essay capturing the heart of the community recorded by the Herald’s photo staff.

Last Thursday left an impression on me. New reporter Josh Salman and I arrived at a home to write a story and take pictures about the kindness and generosity some Tropicana employees extended to a family they had never met. The Averys had been without power and water for month until a friend from their church rallied co-workers at Tropicana to come up with $1,000 to turn on their utilities. By Friday afternoon offers from more people had made their way to the Avery family; one person offered to pay for three months of water and power bills, another wanted to drop off food anonymously. Those were just two of the folks offering help. The display of caring for this family was overwhelming in itself. But something else left a deeper impression. This family, which had been so challenged by troubled times, seemed unbowed by adversity. They didn’t appear to feel sorry for themselves. In fact, they seemed to take the hard times in stride and continued living their lives. They showered down the street. Mary and Alex went to school and studied. They were still a family. Life was hard, but they kept living it with a simple dignity.

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