The world is made up of two kinds of people - givers and takers. As a regular reader and championship-caliber person, you are probably the former rather than the latter.

Chances are you give back to the community through some type of volunteer effort. Some do it through their church. Others contribute through various service organizations. Some just have a knack for finding something that needs doing and doing it, without regard to recognition or reward.

Obviously, there is no end to the need.

Even before the recent recession, there were severe pockets of poverty and neglect that needed attention. There were people who, through no fault of their own, or maybe even through fault of their own, were in need of a helping hand.

In recent years, those needs have escalated as unemployment has soared and state and federal funds dried up overnight.

It's in times like this, however, when we are at our best. And you don't have to look far to find examples.

Ordinary people

Right here in the Lowcountry, there are hundreds of groups dedicated to keeping people from slipping through the cracks.

This is when ordinary people do extraordinary things, like feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, caring for the sick, protecting the children, and looking out for the elderly, just to mention a few.

There are numerous groups dedicated to filling these needs. To list them would require this entire page, and we still would leave somebody out. Suffice it to say, we are good at collective charity.

But there are a million other good deeds that occur daily, even hourly, in our communities that often go unnoticed.

Same boat

In almost every neighborhood there's someone who looks after the old lady who is homebound and can't get to the grocery store. Or the guy who cuts the grass for a handicapped couple who can no longer afford to have it done.

You probably know someone who makes a point of cooking a little extra for a family who runs out of money before they run out of month.

Or the lady who gives her aging neighbor rides to the doctor, occasionally cleans the house, or simply holds a hand when it needs holding.

And show me a business in the Lowcountry that doesn't contribute financially to good causes, sponsor youth athletic teams, and come to the aid of the community in times of need.

And it's not just here.

All across America, in the wake of terrible tornadoes, volunteers appear in small, devastated towns with chain saws and aid without being asked.

Along the rain-swollen Mississippi River, where flood waters are rising, people pitch in to help friends and total strangers, because it's the right thing to do.

Bottom line, when it comes to getting through this thing called life, we're all in the same boat. And sometimes, it's just your turn to paddle.