There’s Still Hope For Humanity

by baldilocks

With the deeds of Harvey Weinstein, Stephen Paddock and sundry other oxygen thieves flooding our awareness, it was cleansing to read this story, in spite of the evil that caused it in the first place.

Earl Melchert was offered a $7,000 reward for helping rescue a teenage girl who had been kidnapped and missing for nearly a month. He settled for dinner with the teen’s family instead.

Melchert, 65, was given the reward money during a news conference last week for his role in finding Jasmine Block, the 15-year-old girl from Alexandria who vanished Aug. 8 and was allegedly beaten and abused by her captors during her 29-day disappearance.

Without a second thought, Melchert turned the money right back over to Block’s family, who along with an anonymous donor had offered the reward in hopes of getting Jasmine back.

“I was not interested in the $7,000 reward, it wasn’t a big deal,” Melchert said during a phone interview with the Star Tribune Monday. “I wanted to give it to the family. They need it more. It went to a good place. I hope Jasmine is OK.”


“Today we witnessed an incredible example of kindness,” the chief wrote on Facebook. “What no one expected was the kindness and generosity that came straight from Earl’s heart today. He believes that young lady that came running toward him that September day is the real hero and without hesitation, Earl handed the reward over to her, followed by a big hug.”

But Melchert did accept the Block family’s invitation to dinner.

The details of the crimes and rescue are in the article for whoever wants to read it. And, a bit of serendipity exists: Melchert, Weinstein, and Paddock all fall in three of the same demographics.  Of course, no one outside of the Block family will be talking about Earl Melchert tomorrow, but that’s okay. The Blocks will probably be talking to God about him. And that is as it should be.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done one day soon! Follow her on Twitter and on

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