THUMBS-UP: We’ll always be fans of the United Way’s Day of Action, even if it used to be known as a Day of Caring. Because, either way, the point is the same — rolling up of the sleeves to help nonprofits with the menial tasks such as fixing walls, throwing up a new paint job or helping do some minor repairs to offices.

Last week, we saw such an event take place right here in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County when local volunteers took to local nonprofit organizations, like Big Brothers Big Sisters of Harrisonburg-Rockingham County, The Arc of Harrisonburg and Rockingham and the Boys and Girls Club of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County to complete acts of service for the organizations, so they can focus their resources on serving the community.

“United Way is a macro-level organization that works with a lot of community issues from a 30,000-foot view, if you will,” said Laura Toni-Holsinger, executive director of the local United Way. “During the pandemic ... we’ve seen firsthand how human service organizations have had an increase in the need for their services. That sort of thing takes a toll when you’re in that for 15 months plus.”

As always, the community came to help. Which should be of no surprise to anybody.

The annual event has been going on for 45 years. So here’s to 45 more of people helping people.

THUMBS-DOWN: According to Frank Sottaceti, Harrisonburg and Rockingham County’s criminal justice planner, growth in the violent crime rate outpaced population growth in both Harrisonburg and Rockingham County between 1986 and 2019.

Of course, this is unacceptable. We should be proud that our area is, generally speaking, a safe one to live in and raise a family. But the growth of violent crime should most definitely be a cause for concern.

During today’s Harrisonburg City Council meeting, Sottaceti will offer a presentation on the topic, and we’re curious to hear what he has to say.

THUMBS-UP: To 6-year-old Bryce Jerrells of Grottoes who, on Saturday, went hunting for the first time during Youth and Apprentice Deer Hunting Weekend.

Hunting, much like agriculture, is a part of life here in the Shenandoah Valley. We can only imagine the excitement Bryce felt when he bagged his first deer Saturday.

The weekend event is a pivotal one for young hunters to put into practice the safety tips they, hopefully, were bucking up on (pun fully intended) leading up to their first time out.

That backstrap tastes so much better when you took part in putting it on the table.

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