DOWNTOWN CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - All too often, we here at Cleveland 19 have reported on the growing crisis involving youth violence -- kids with guns, many in gangs, terrorizing our neighborhoods and putting innocent lives at risk.
But beneath this shroud of violence lie positive stories that need to be told. Many of our youngsters are doing acts of charity that demonstrate their compassion for the less fortunate among us. No better example are the two teens profiled recently in Romona Robinson's feature we call "Romona's Kids."
It's the story of 9-year-old Abby Weissberg, of Twinsburg, who was outraged to learn that a new charter school had no library at all. She responded by urging classmates to donate books.
And boy, did they -- 1,600 in all.
If that wasn't enough, Abby sold some personal items online to raise money to buy even more books.
Then there's the story of 16-year-old John Stellakis of Sheffield Lake. After meeting a war veteran suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, John started a GoFundMe account to raise money to purchase a World War II jeep. He plans to display the vehicle in parades and car shows to raise funds for veterans with disabilities.
Neither of these acts of kindness will headline the evening news, but they do underscore a story worth telling: youngsters doing their part to make this a better community, not only for today, but for the generations that follow.