The community spirit for which Gloucester and Cape Ann has long been known can show up in any number of ways, especially when one or more of our friends and neighbors is coming to grips with a loss and needs help.
Wednesday, that spirit was shining brightly through a not-so-typical kids’ lemonade stand, a 6-year-old girl, and her mom.
The girl was 6-year-old Bailee Militello of Gloucester, who, with her mom, Brieana -- a certified nurse’s aide at Seacoast Nursing & Rehabilitation Center -- has set up a lemonade or cookie stand outside their East Main Street home in the past. But Wednesday’s and Thursday’s stands had an added meaning.
Bailee was concerned about the Cardone family, which had lost its home just 48 hours earlier in a raging fire on Ashland Place. She wanted to do something to help -- and she did, working with her mother, her brother Jimmy, 2, and neighbor Jason Gleason, 9, to raise more than $135 in just the first hour so the stand was up and running Wednesday.
Brieana Millitello said she has “always been a giver,” and noted this was a way to give to neighbors in need. She also noted that her daughter is a sensitive, emotional and caring child, and this was a way for little Bailee to learn about community giving as well. Indeed, the Militellos’ effort hit home; while the kids were manning the stand, Sabrina Cardone, 17, and her mother Laura came by to thank the kids and Brieana Militello for their gracious efforts.
These are, of course, the types of community efforts that always spring up around Gloucester when residents are confronted with tragedy. That’s one of the virtues that makes Gloucester and Cape Ann such a special place.
But it’s especially gratifying to see someone like Brieana Millitello, who no doubt offers a lot of care and giving on the job, imparting Gloucester’s community of spirit of giving to her 6 -year-old daughter -- and to see little Bailee embrace that spirit as well.
Both deserve a salute, and several rounds of thanks.