The year is nearing its end and what a year it has been! Though the year is ending, the challenges we face in our community remain. The year 2020 had demanded a great deal from all of us and 2021 is unlikely to require any less.
For Those Experiencing Loss and on the Front Line
Some families in our region have one less present to celebrate the holidays with, and a number of our neighbors are patients in one of our area hospitals, fighting to recover from the COVID-19 virus. Our doctors, nurses, emergency personnel, and nursing home attendants are exhausted and fearful of what could lie ahead. For all of them, could we please just once more make a push to avoid large gatherings and wear face coverings?
For the Schools
The teachers in our community are stretched thin as they try to balance their own health concerns with the needs of their students. The students and parents are no less affected. The same is true for each of the school board members and school administrators who must make nearly impossible decisions regularly, knowing not everyone will be pleased with the outcome. For all of them, could we please just make one more push to offer a bit of grace and show a continued heavy dose of patience?
For the Small Businesses
The small businesses in downtown, along Williamson Road, in Grandin Village, in Northwest, in South Roanoke, and in all the other neighborhoods and along our major corridors are all struggling. Many are not certain they can make it through to 2021—this is especially true with so many of our great family-run local restaurants. Each of these add so much to our community: shopping and dining, jobs, character, and more. For each of them, could we please make one more push? Make that purchase and pick it up curbside, buy that gift card, get takeout—anything will help.
For Those in Need
We have many in our community who help others during normal times and even more so in these current times. Dozens of nonprofits help provide food, shelter, clothing, health care, counseling, and a myriad of other vital services for those in need in our community. During these last several months while their costs have increased, in many cases their ability to raise needed funds has decreased, leaving them vulnerable at the very time their services are most needed. For each of these, could we please make one more push to get them the needed financial resources so they may continue to do good in our community?
For All the Others
There are so many doing so much and also so many in need of assistance. Those mentioned above are but a few examples. Our entertainment venues, hotels, museums, artists, day care centers, and others face similar challenges and have similar needs. Together, we have all been through much these past several months and challenges continue to lie ahead. There is hope on the horizon, but we must make it there and do so safely and with our sanity intact.
Let’s make one more push. Say goodbye, maybe even good riddance, to 2020 and hello to 2021, even while recognizing we are not done yet. Let’s make one more push together, helping one another. That’s what we do when we are at our best. That is what we did in 2020 and what 2021 demands.
-- Bob Cowell