Vidalians lend helping hand to neighbors

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 19, 2001

VIDALIA, La. – Donis Craft was taking advantage of a sunny morning Friday to mow a front lawn – but the Elm Street yard wasn’t her own. Instead, Craft was busy mowing the yard of a couple she and husband James have been friends with for 36 years – Leonard and Ann Higgs.

You see, Leonard Higgs has cancer and cannot do the outdoor tasks he used to do. But at one time, Higgs was the one who did such favors for other people.

&uot;So we’re doing a favor for him,&uot; Craft said.

Email newsletter signup

&uot;People just don’t know how much (Leonard Higgs) did for people,&uot; said James Craft who, due to his own heart condition, was limited to &uot;supervising&uot;&160;his wife’s mowing and sitting with his friend Leonard.

Donis Craft has also mowed lawns for an elderly neighbor as well as for another neighbor who took a job in Alabama for a while. &uot;I don’t do it for any publicity,&uot;&160;Craft said. &uot;I just do it because I&160;want to.&uot;

In the case of the Leonard and Ann Higgs, the Crafts also help out because the two couples have been friends for so long.

&uot;His son used to play football with my son, playing guard to my son’s quarterback,&uot; James Craft said. &uot;We lived down the street with each other on Peach Street for years.&uot;

In addition, the Crafts said they now have the time to help out. James Craft retired from International Paper in 1998 after 45 years of service; Donis Craft retired after eight years at Britton & Koontz First National Bank.

James Craft said that helping one’s neighbors is just a part of living in Vidalia. &uot;We have a fine group of people here,&uot; he said.

&uot;Everybody helps each other out,&uot; his wife said.

But Ann Higgs doesn’t see the Crafts’ service as so routine.

&uot;It means a lot to have people like that who care and say you can call them day or night if you need them,&uot; Higgs said.

&uot;There are angels in heaven, but we have angels on Earth, too.&uot;