Often we read about a “small town mentality.” While that phrase usually has a negative connotation, our experience has shown us that it can have a very different meaning.

We have learned firsthand how much kindness resides in a small town. Since we lost our home to fire in late January, we have been overwhelmed with the compassion demonstrated by the people in our own town of Peru and the whole River Valley area.

Not only were benefits organized (seemingly before the smoke cleared), but people have supported our family with countless acts of kindness — food, clothing, donations and visits. We heard of people traveling from quite some distances to attend a benefit just to “witness a community that takes care of its own.”

We are so very grateful to live in such a community and know that a “small town mentality” really means kindness, generosity and “neighbors helping neighbors.”

Adelia and Wayne Thurston, Peru

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