A small community in Florida is getting a Valentine's Day thanks to politicians interested spurring a sense of community.
It seems we're in the midst of a trend. While millions of Americans remain jobless and poor, many are powering through the best way they know how: by being kind to one another. They're giving away flowers, they're buying each other coffee, they're offering words of kindness and respect to those who need them most. These aren't million-dollar gifts we're talking about, but they are significant if only for the fact that they're happening at a time when almost everyone is strapped for resources.
The latest development in this growing movement is happening in southern Florida, where an energized county commissioner, Jose "Pepe" Diaz, is spearheading an effort to encourage local businesses to care for their communities. That effort began on Monday afternoon, when Diaz and nonprofit group Neighbors 4 Neighbors convinced a Sweetwater gas station to offer gas for the insanely low price of $2.14 per gallon today (get it?). In Florida, where the average price of a gallon of gasoline is nearly $4, Diaz's offer was one many drivers couldn't refuse. "We can’t wait 'til a hurricane or a disaster to come to deal with your neighbors in a neighborly form," Diaz told Miami's CBS affiliate.
Diaz, along with Sweetwater Mayor Manuel Marano, showed up to pump gas and wash drivers' windows. Their hope is that small kindnesses dispersed throughout the community will spur others to give back. And, at the very least, it's got them excited. "It’s not all about raising taxes and making laws," Marono said of his job. "It’s about giving back to the community to help them out."