The True Heart of the Community

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A disruptive and painful natural disaster like Hurricane Irma challenges all of us to re-evaluate who we are and what is most important to us.  While many in Southwest Florida escaped significant harm, there are large numbers of people who, as this blog is being written, are trying to reclaim and reinvent their daily lives.  Homes destroyed by flooding, growing heaps of couches, beds, toys — remnants of life as it used to be.  In a community where so many charitable organizations strive to satisfy unfulfilled needs to underserved community members, Hurricane Irma brought into sharp focus the importance of working together to lift up those left homeless, the elderly, the injured, the poor.  At a time when the entire community is stretched to the limits, we have seen the value of this cooperation in the non-profit community.  With selflessness and compassion our community service organizations have worked individually and in cooperation to rally valiant and tireless volunteers, create a nexus for financial donations, food, and clothing; to help to distribute gift cards, shoes, blankets; manage cleanups, shelter the homeless, and protect families in need. A touching and meaningful narrative that reflects the deep sense of caring in this place we live.

After Irma, Southwest Florida will have a new story to tell.  A story of courage, hard work, challenges addressed and new missions to fulfill.  With that awful wind came a demand for renewal.  A re-examination of what is truly most important to our identity as a community.  Our non-profit organizations are fueling that renewal and giving hope, guidance and positive outcomes.  

To all those who have given in whatever way they can, we say thank you!  To those coordinating the efforts in so many ways at so many levels, we are grateful for your leadership.  We are thankful for your passion.  Our neighborhoods, our islands and outposts, our farming areas, our devastated and tattered have stood with their own resilience and the help of our charitable organizations to begin again.  To start over.  To be who were were before, only better.  We are proud and humble to be a part of this community.