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Macy Lux

Not Everything is for Show

By Nate Fisher

“I really like to help people. Helping people is really my thing.”

Other than the Red Cross biomedical transport van’s encounter with our beloved editor’s alpha male driving style earlier in the day on the road to Vandalia, there have been no further setbacks for today’s blood drive. Macy Lux, senior, hides a slight annoyance over the lower-than-expected turnout, but every pint counts. She turns her attention back to her book; today, it’s fantasy or science fiction, titled in the language of elves or interstellar deities, depending on her mood. Though deeply engaged in stories where knights tumble around doing honorable acts for arguably dishonorable reasons or a poorly veiled “alien invasion tale” plays out as plain ol’ “fear of the other,” her time working the blood drive isn’t spent idly. Macy genuinely enjoys helping others, and it’s not for want of reward or accolade. Trust us, we speak to scores of students, and God bless them, a few service projects and charitable contributions go about as far as “it’ll look good on my resume.” In a world without resumes, Macy would still be the reigning Queen of Empathetic Joy and Compassion.

Macy’s roots are Vandalia-nourished, she was born here, and after taking a detour to live in Effingham until fourth grade, she returned to her point of origin. Often, it’s a task to gather new friends when switching schools, but Macy’s easy-going, sympathetic attitude has guaranteed a steady parade of close compatriots not too far behind. The drama may start in fourth grade, but she dodged a good deal of grief by playing the soulful nurturer within each passing grade level. You might call her a “human lighthouse,” her intuition for aiding others requires a high wattage of emotional intelligence to guide others to safe passage.

Using her National Honor Society service project as a clever excuse to continue giving, Macy’s current contribution to the livelihood of our area is a clothes-collecting operation for Andy’s Closet, a local nonprofit specializing in the needs of children in out-of-home or “foster” care. If you’re at church this Sunday and see a plastic tote for clothing donations in the vestibule, chances are it’s one of Macy’s several strategically placed collection stations. She also accepts individual contributions through social media posts, so if you have items to give, she probably wants them. “I’ll collect from anybody,” she grins. “I’ll take whatever you have!” The oldest of five children with siblings who have experience in out-of-home care, the need to provide essential clothing to other kids is deeply personal for her. “I want to be able to help families that need clothes for the kids that can’t afford to go out and buy a bunch of clothes,” Macy says. “Sometimes kids will just come to the house with what they have on.” There’s a real need out there, and she’s adamant about protecting the vulnerable. A volunteer in her church’s nursery every Sunday, there’s a commitment to kindness in her character that generates its own reward.

But her altruism is not for show. “I really want to make a difference,” she emphasizes. “I really like to help people. Helping people is really my thing.” Macy places her book down to check on a blood donor and asks how they’re feeling. She intends to write her own books one day or at least become a writer in some capacity. Eastern Illinois University waits for her as she’ll soon become a part of their distinguished English department. Whatever she ends up writing, we know it will be infused with love and outreach, much in the style of Tolkien’s elves, who impart all jewelry, weapons, and armor they craft with a bit of themselves. In Macy’s kingdom, those in need inherit all the spoils.

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