Gene's Note: Heroes

If you have read my blog in the past, you have probably seen me write about how just one small act of kindness can be like a pebble in the water. That act of kindness can create a ripple effect that can be the catalyst to building stronger communities. Over the last month, I have been reflecting on the many acts of kindness that the members of our communities have taken to help one another during this devastating fire season. From sheltering evacuated friends, to firefighters making heroic efforts to save someone’s home. We have seen it all this summer and much more than many of us want to. With the devastation and loss that the fires leave behind, it can be challenging to focus on anything but the negative, but I am always humbled by the way challenging times bring out the best in people. Through these shared struggles, I am grateful for how we join together to help those that need us.

I recently came upon this picture from the Carr Fire down in Redding:

Carr Fire

The image shows a few firefighters catching a little bit of rest after long hours of protecting homes in Redding from the Carr Fire, only to wake up and do it all again. These men and women fought tirelessly to protect people they probably do not even know. That is what heroes do, act in the service of others with considerable sacrifice and at great risk of personal injury. I would like to express my deepest gratitude and appreciation for all of the heroes that are still out there battling the blazes and protecting our communities. We have also seen everyday citizens become heroes when they joined together to raise over $28,000 to help a firefighter after his car was overtaken by flames. With serious burns to his face he was rushed to the hospital and was left with over $25,000 in medical bills.

Once again, everyday heroes joined together with many small donations by community members that just wanted to express their appreciation for his effort in fighting the wildfires. This is an incredible story that reminds us that when work to improve the lives of others, our lives are forever blessed. Our communities have shown incredible strength and resilience, but we still have a long way to go. Fires continue to burn all around our region and our fire crews are still selflessly dedicating themselves to protect us. While the battles are not over yet, I know we will overcome the challenge if we continue to look out for each other in the days to come. I am inspired by the stories of generosity and service in this time of need and I am proud to live in a community that cares!