|Dale Payne listened to Kiera Volz as she told him about her day after
school his Huntingburg home March 20. Dale, who has known Kiera since
she was born, has helped raise her since July 2010 and became her legal
guardian in October 2011. |
|Dale gently put on Kiera's shoes as she slept before school Feb. 28. Dale, who works for the City of Huntingburg's Department of Parks and Recreation, usually dresses Kiera in his recliner while she continues sleeping, because of the early hour.|
|Dale leaned in to watch Kiera walk into the women's restroom during a Southridge boys basketball game at Memorial Gym in Huntingburg Jan. 31.|
The photograph: Dale Payne of Huntingburg lifted Kiera Volz, 6, during the Celebrating Fathers event at League Stadium in Huntingburg on June 13. Dale, who has known Kiera since she was born, has helped raise her since July 2010 and became her legal guardian in Oct. 2011.
Comments: I started working on a series of short stories about how people in the community help homebound individuals. Though no one else’s fault but my own, the story has been put on hold. But I enjoyed this assignment so much, and spending time with these ladies was such a joy, I couldn’t help but share this photo. The Spize Girlz’ visit, dress up in funny costumes, sing songs and pray with those they are visiting. Watching them perform is a hoot, but more than that, it’s uplifting and tenderhearted. On this day in particular, we first got stuck in an elevator at Stork’s Place. There were eight of us dressed up in costume stuck in an elevator. It was quite the sight. Once we finally got out, we were ready to go back on our mission of brightening people’s day. This moment is with Jean, who lost her husband, Jack, in February after 70 years of marriage. The outreach, the touch, the holding of hands and the prayer, all of it was so moving. It brought me to tears watching these ladies and the care they brought forth to Jean. To me, this photo shows strength. To me, this photo says, “Hey you’re not alone, we are here for you.” It was quite the roller coaster ride of emotions to experience in one afternoon. I’m lucky to be part of a community where people care so much about one another. I’m even luckier that I’m allowed to bear witness to these moments.