Once upon a time, the community barn raising was a common sight in rural America. Labor was scarce and so was cash, so when someone needed a barn built, the whole community would pitch in, everyone knowing that if they someday needed a barn, the favor would be returned. As the rural economy changed, the community barn raising went out with the nineteenth century, or so it would seem…
For Carl Bates of Galva, Illinois, harvesting his crop was going to be a much, much bigger challenge than usual. He had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and he and his family didn’t think they’d be able to get the job done. The Bates family reached out to several other farmers, expecting that they’d only be able to provide a little bit of help. So just imagine their surprise when a whole lot of helpers turned up: in a small town, word gets around. As Carl told the reporters who’d picked up on the story, “We had 10 combines, 16 semis, and around 40 people. We ended up with all these people showing up and had to organize.” A couple of local businesses joined in, contributing food and equipment for the volunteers.
Despite his illness and the side-effects of his treatments, Carl was determined to be out in his field riding along with the volunteers. “It took about 10 hours to harvest all 450 acres, which would have otherwise taken us nearly a week. One of the things we’ve noticed is how great it is to see people help each other for a change as opposed to all the bad news stories out there,” Carl added.
We’ve posted a video of the harvest below. The effect is visually striking, but the generosity of the Bates family neighbors is what really matters most.
Were you astonished by this community’s outpouring of help? Have you seen or taken part in something like this? Tell us all about it in the comments at Facebook. Be sure to like and share!