Poplin: Ann Arbor’s
Sri Lanka connection

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Generosity comes in many forms. At one end of the spectrum are those who write huge checks and end up with buildings named after them. At the other end are folks who make the world a better place by simply sharing their spirit. At The Ann, we admire the former but embrace the latter.

That’s why we started our “Giving” column a few months ago. We love telling stories about people giving back to their community on a very personal level — and maybe learning a few things themselves, along the way. And that’s why we’re so proud to tell the story this month of a group of local folks who found a way to help — and be helped by — an amazing group of girls half a world away.

Our centerpiece article gives voice to local students, teachers, businesspeople and doctors who just returned from an orphanage in Sri Lanka. They tell us what they saw there, with the help of remarkable photographer Benjamin Weatherston, and it’s impossible to read their takeaways without being impressed.

Naresh Gunaratnam, a local Rotarian and physician, deserves credit for leading the effort. But, as you read the centerpiece, it becomes obvious that the 35 Grace Care Center orphans are the heroes here. The strength of their spirit, their passion for sharing, their focus on others … it’s enough to restore one’s faith in humanity.

Old-school journalists — and we proudly count ourselves in that number — used to consider it their mission to afflict  the comfortable and comfort the afflicted. But that doesn’t leave room for the obvious: Sometimes we can be comforted by the afflicted.

Tell the editor, Kyle Poplin, which local organization should be featured in next month’s “Giving” column. The only requirement is that the group works hard to contribute to the sense of community in Washtenaw County.

Kyle Poplin

Kyle Poplin is co-founder and editor of The Ann magazine.