This is not my typical letter where I talk about the stories in our newest issue – and an amazing issue it is! Instead, I just want to focus on my pride in this great country.
In the past few months our country has been hit with so many natural disasters. From the hurricanes tearing through the Carribbean and the Gulf states to the wildfires in California’s Napa and Sonoma Valleys, millions of Americans have been affected – many suffering tragic losses. While our government resources, including FEMA and the National Guard, have certainly done their best, they have really been stretched thin.
My greatest inspiration has come from another source as I’ve watched these calamaties unfold – the mainstream American heroes who are not elected officials or professional disaster workers but our neighbors and friends whose selfless efforts have made a huge impact in saving lives. They call themselves the Cajun Navy or just the guys down the street. When they heard their neighbors in Houston or Florida were trapped in flooded homes, they did not hesitate to get in their cars or trucks and haul their boats to the disaster. They rescued people from their homes and got them to shelters. They loaded their vehicles with clean drinking water, blankets and food. They put themselves in harm’s way and never thought of being paid for their help. And millions of people who didn’t have the resources to physically be there wrote checks to contribute to the relief efforts. Hundreds of military reservists volunteered to load up airplanes and boats with all the supplies they could carry and went to Puerto Rico and other islands devastated by the hurricanes. People were suffering and these heroic folks got there as fast as they could to lend whatever they could do to help.
As Americans, we are not defined by our government as much as by our compassion and humanity as exemplified by these true grassroots American heroes who define our communities and are symbols of our national conscience.
Southern Seasons Magazine has the great privilege of shining spotlights on the philanthropists and volunteers who so selflessly support the greater good. I am inspired by all of you and so proud to know you and showcase your wonderful works.