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Editorial: It seems to us – Some reasons for encouragement when many despair the fraying of our civic fabric

For those who are weary of conflict and have come to doubt even the existence of good intentions, take heart. An encounter between a homeless man and Miami police offers evidence that the country remains home to good people who are willing to reach beyond themselves to make a difference.

As CNN reported this week, the homeless man, his wife and four children had recently moved from Michigan, but were kicked out of a relative’s home. With no money and their belongings in garbage bags, they headed to the bus depot.

In desperation, the man approached five police officers, who responded by pulling $200 from their own pockets, then finding a shelter for the family, who later made it back to Michigan – using the money the officers gave them.

“I had just taken out money that morning and … I just, I gave it up,” Officer Dayane Wilhelm, a new mother, said through tears. A colleague agreed. “I saw his wife holding a 2-month-old, I saw the other kids and just immediately thought to myself, ‘Wow, we have to help them,’” Officer Jose DeLeon said.

Good people are out there. Don’t give up yet.

Wealthy people, too, are showing that the broad brush employed by some social critics is misapplied. The latest evidence was offered in Buffalo on Friday, as Snyder native Jeffery Gundlach gave $10 million to the expansion and improvement underway at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.

More specifically, that’s billionaire Jeffrey Gundlach, the same Jeffrey Gundlach who had already committed $52.5 million to this transformational project. In exchange, Gundlach has naming rights to the glass bridge that will connect the new building to the one designed in 1905 by E.B. Green. The name he chose: John J. Albright.

The gallery, itself, will be renamed the Buffalo Albright-Knox-Gundlach Art Museum at its reopening, scheduled for early 2022. Any objections?

And one more, while we’re at it: B. Thomas Golisano, a Rochester billionaire with a history of donating to Western New York causes, has given $1.5 million for naming rights to the new oncology center at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center. Another reason to thank the generous man whose 2003 purchase of the Buffalo Sabres kept the team where it belongs.

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