EDITORIAL: Giving back and setting an example

We extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to the Bonham sisters, Vicki Shields-Bonham and Becky Bonham, who have donated to the Catholic church 14 acres of prime land in Donna to be used as a community center and gathering place and to help those who are less fortunate.

Their example of giving should be an example to us all.

The sisters, who are Methodist, gave their family land to the Catholic Diocese of Brownsville to be used as part of a unique public/private partnership to build an outreach mission that will be called Plaza Amistad.

The mission is to be built on the property, off Mile 13 North Road near Salinas Boulevard, and is to include a new Catholic church, healthcare clinic, pavilion, soccer fields, hiking and walking trail, community garden, café and a baseball field.

Construction will be done in phases as the diocese solicits more partners to help finance the facility. Costs for initial construction are about $1.2 million, but if others come forward quickly and are as generous as the Bonham sisters, perhaps the facility will grow to be so much more. We hope so, at least.

Becky Bonham credits her grandfather and father with teaching their family the importance of giving back to the community and those around.

“They would be so pleased,” she said at a Wednesday evening dedication ceremony.

We believe they would. And what’s more: They would likely be proud of the example these sisters set for others in the Rio Grande Valley, especially with such a gift to a religious institution that isn’t even of their affiliation.

It was so remarkable, that attendees at the ceremony included Rabbi Claudio Kogan of Temple Emanuel, and Hidalgo County Sheriff Eddie Guerra.

“It didn’t have anything to do with religion; it had to do with humanity, with kids, with medical needs, with something that will help the community,” she said. “This place has always been magic to me.”

And now it will be magical to many, many others.