“When one neighbor helps another, we strengthen our communities.” Jennifer Pahlka
As leaders, owners, management and employees of the intricate economic engine that keeps Graham moving forward, made up of caring people, there is no doubt you are aware of the devastation to our neighbor to the east following the tornado that struck Monday, March 21. In times of crisis, our attention so often turns to ways we can be part of offering immediate help and finding ways to become a part of the recovery process. And members of the Graham Chamber of Commerce, you did not disappoint.
I do not know all the stories of help delivered, but the few I do know are worth mentioning. Many of our food industry members donated foods with items such as sausage biscuits, sandwiches, water, power drinks, pizza and hamburgers. The churches conducted food drives, clothes drives, organized helping hands groups and lifted countless prayers. Teachers who wanted to help teachers refurnish their classrooms with lost supplies. Those who have access to heavy equipment took off toward Jacksboro with skid steers, front-end loaders, tarps, dumpsters, trash bags, work gloves and jumped right in. Individuals offered housing to those displaced. Retailers became donation collection locations. Drone shots were taken and shared so all could see the level of destruction. And the list goes on and on and on.
In addition to her excellent quote above, in her 2012 TED Talk, Jennifer Pahlka noted that we will not be able to reinvent government unless we also reinvent citizenship, and asked "Are we just going to be a crowd of voices, or are we going to be a crowd of hands?" ...