On Wednesday night, that support was evident, as hundreds of people came out for the fundraiser, had a good meal, and bid generously on the numerous auction items that were donated in support. People who were connected in some way by their mutual friendship were able to catch up with one another and help out a good cause. Those bonds helped strengthen the support, and it showed in the final results. The organizers were unsure of just how much money was raised for their their friend, other that to say it was substantial, and a huge help in the effort to catch up on unpaid bills and medical expenses.
What those friends did for their stricken friend is something we’ve seen play out time and time again around the valley. When someone is in need, people rally to their support.
Sometimes that support comes from friends and neighbors, sometimes from the broader community including visitors and second-home owners, sometimes from total strangers. Whatever it is that stirs compassion and makes folks in the valley put their hearts on their sleeves and help out, it’s one of the core things that makes living in this area truly special. People look out for one another, neighbors truly care about neighbors, friends help friends, and total strangers answer the call to help with little or no prodding.
That spirit of giving has also spilled over into more formal help. A number of non-profit groups and organizations stand ready to help out those in community in need. Some, like Deerfield Valley Community Cares or The Wilmington Fund VT, have specific missions born out of an identified need. In the case of the two mentioned, it’s fuel assistance for those who can’t afford to heat their home sin winter and reconstruction help for those who suffered from the floods caused by Tropical Storm Irene. There are other groups who have a more general charter of assistance, like the Lion’s Club and the Rotary. The offer aid in a wide variety of ways, from delivering food baskets to staging fundraising events to planting flowers for fighting cancer. There are other who groups who fit one or more of these categories, church groups, food pantries, and others too numerous to mention them all here, and they all help those in need in some way, shape, or form.
Those groups make up a good portion of the social safety net were have here. That unseen safety net helps to keep people from falling through the cracks of society. That net is strong and stretches broadly across the various communities we have here, unfettered by geographic, religious, or political boundaries. Sometimes, it’s important to recognize those efforts, large and small, that hold that net together. Without them, this area would be a much more difficult place to live.
What were trying to say is that the spirit of helping those in need is strong in valley. For whatever reason, people who have settled in this valley are a generous lot, with their time, their money, their labor, and their hearts.
That generosity is one of the core threads that runs through the fabric of our community, and is one of the things that makes the tapestry of life in this valley so rewarding.