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EDITORIAL: Good people

From left, Karen, Bobbi and Fred Schaufeld at Inova Loudoun Hospital Tuesday night. Times-Mirror/Alexander Erkiletian

We’ve come to know Fred, Karen and Bobbi Schaufeld as purpose-driven people who continually invest in an idea called community.

They have renovated historic buildings in Leesburg and opened new businesses there. They founded 100WomenStrong to improve the quality of life for residents of the county. They installed a solar grid on their property to promote the feasibility of community energy. They financed an Academy Award-winning movie on how journalism makes a difference.

They co-founded All Ages Read Together, a program designed to teach school readiness skills to low-income, preschool-age children.

They called for political candidates to take a pledge of integrity.

They sit on the boards of 100WomenStrong, All Ages Read Together, the Equine Rescue League, HealthWorks and Loudoun Impact.

The Schaufelds are celebrated throughout the community as philanthropists. This week they were described more meaningfully. They were called good people.

Good people. It’s a simple expression that seems old fashioned in today’s insincere, hyperbolic lexicon. Yet Patrick Walters, the CEO of Inova Loudoun Hospital, looked into eyes of the community and said the words that perfectly conveyed what the Schaufelds mean to Loudoun: “They are good people,” he said.

Yes, Walters talked about the generosity of the Schaufelds and the $5 million gift they made to the hospital for a heart care center. Yes, he talked about the emergence of the hospital as a vital community resource. But two simple words from Walters -- “good people” -- resonated most with those who gathered to consider the Schaufelds’ gift.

Let’s forget for a moment that Loudoun is the nation’s most affluent county. Let’s look beyond the gold rush known as economic development. Let’s take the silly designation as a “happy” county for what it’s worth. Loudoun has more valuable assets to present to the world.

We see a growing number of people connected not by wealth, background or circumstance, but by a shared interest in community. This revolves around a passion for potential mixed with personal, creative engagement. We characterize this as the sensibility of giving a damn. To shorten it, let’s call it “creating good.”

“Together, Inova and Loudoun County perform miracles every day of the year," Fred Schaufeld declared on Giving Tuesday.

There’s power in those words. Regardless of our net worth, or our differences, each of us is empowered to find a path for creating good in our community. The Schaufelds show us the way.

Good people.


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