Ryland Ward is a cute little guy. At five years old, he’s experienced more tragedy than most people do in a lifetime.
Ryland is a survivor of the Sutherlands Springs shooting in Texas, where 26 congregants perished at the hands of a mad shooter on a Sunday morning in early November.
Unknown to him at this point is that his step-mom and two sisters didn’t survive the attack. He has had his own problems trying to recuperate from a shot to the elbow, two shots in his stomach and two rounds in the leg. It is a heart breaking story of senseless violence.
Multiple News outlets have retold this story, along with a request by his family to send a Christmas card to the boy. He’d like pictures of people’s pets and perhaps a $1 bill too.
Shortly he will get Christmas cards from us at the Advertiser and one from Fergus Printing/Keltech Signs. Our staff added one of the little colouring books our people handed out at the Fergus Santa Claus Parade this year. Hopefully it gives the little guy a smile, even for a moment.
There are few things that bother us as much as children in distress. Often, through no fault of their own, kids fall prey to the world around them.
It begs the question of what able-bodied people can do to help and comfort others, particularly at this time of year. Acts of charity and kindness are in order.
We know there will be empty chairs around many tables this holiday season. Family and friends have suffered terrible losses this year. Hopefully that emptiness can be filled in part by memories of better times.
Despite what many politicians call a booming economy, there will be people who are feeling left out and will rely on the generosity of others this year. Between church efforts and local food banks, Christmas will be a happier event than without these kind gifts.
As is our usual custom in the Christmas message, we offer a special wish this holiday. It costs nothing, but some thought and a little effort.
We wish this year for awareness and a sense of compassion for others. We hope for a season of peace.
On behalf of all of our staff, Merry Christmas, Wellington.