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With everything that's been in the news lately, it's easy to become overwhelmed by the negativity. Three Rodgers Forge neighbors have some positive words. Maybe if we focus more on all the good in the world, it will outweigh all the bad. Because there's good all around us. We just need to slow down and take notice.

To their daughter: We are so incredibly proud of our daughter, Maren Blanks! She asked for donations for her eighth birthday instead of toys. On Dec. 2, Giving Tuesday, she took advantage of the very generous matching program offered by Exelon and donated $650 to St. Jude's Children's Hospital and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. (Eighty-nine dollars of this was her own money she had saved from gifts and doing chores around the house.) And this does not include donations that her birthday party guests made directly to those charities. Like we always tell her, it's fine to be little. Little people CAN do big things! – Tom and Blair Blanks

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To their neighbors on Regester Avenue: After nearly 20 years of living next door to each other, our longtime Regester Avenue neighbors Jen and Tano, and their daughter, Christina, are moving, and we just want to thank them for being such great neighbors over the years and tell them how much they will be missed (especially on Halloween). They are always so generous with their time whether it be cutting the grass, raking the leaves, shoveling snow, or helping us with projects around the house by loaning tools and manpower. They are also very kind to our two boys. We just want them to know that we wish them all the best in their new home but the neighborhood will not be the same without them. – Chris and Jenn Mason

Thank you to initiators/organizers of Nextdoor Rodgers Forge: Thanks so much for starting and maintaining this service. I, for one, enjoy and value its existence. I have met many neighbors that I would not have otherwise. I have received many great recommendations for people or companies who provide quality services in our area. The crime and safety information is invaluable, and sometimes reminders of things we all need to be more cognizant of are helpful. The classifieds for sale and the free things are great for all parties! The times when some sound nasty or rant on are times when I just stop reading and can be thankful I am a more positive, less angry person! – Kathy Finney

To my editors, neighbors and school community, and readers: Thank you to my editors for the privilege of writing this column (and not giving me grief about always missing my deadline). Thank you to my neighbors and school communities for sharing your stories, lending a hand, showing kindness, being a village for my children, and for making this a safe place. And thank you, readers, for your support. I appreciate you all.

Happy Holidays!

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