Community lends helping hand — even when it’s buried in snow

Daunting challenges bring out the best in people. Whether hard pressed by serious health problems, confronted by a life or death crisis, saddened by the loss of a loved one or overwhelmed by the brute forces of Mother Nature’s wrath, the true sense of community shines brightest when we most need it.

Shawano County’s true sense of community has been at its zenith since a winter storm dropped about 30 inches of snow April 13-15, bringing life to a standstill.

Treacherous travel conditions, coupled with record setting snowfalls, pushed our region to its limits, shutting down most governmental entities, schools, churches, restaurants and retail stores. Through it all, our sense of community prevailed to ensure we all survived to talk about this harrowing experience.

Snow plow drivers, mechanics and support staff, sheriff’s deputies, municipal police, firefighters and other first responders all did an extraordinary job in keeping our communities safe and secure despite the daunting task of meeting this winter storm head-on.

Considering the breath and scope of this storm, it is a testament to our public works employees, law enforcement personnel and emergency first responders there were no fatalities or serious injuries. These dedicated professionals performed admirably under the most trying circumstances, ensuring residents received the assistance needed during this weather emergency.

Perhaps the most important aspect of our survival of the blizzard was the outpouring of assistance from citizens to neighbors, friends, relatives and complete strangers. The true spirit of our community was evident as people from all walks of life, both young and old, came together to help those in need, making sure the dangers of this natural disaster did not adversely affect anyone.

Complete strangers shoveled or plowed snow from driveways and sidewalks, people brought food to the elderly in their neighborhoods, neighbors traveled to pharmacies to fetch medicines for those unable to travel, friends cleared exit vents on homes to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, and still others helped care for pets and animals.

We all saw firsthand what it means to live in an area that has a true sense of community. Now in the aftermath and clean-up, people continue to lend a helping hand to those in need and remain steadfast in their belief that it takes an entire community to make life complete.

It’s important we all take the time to remember what is truly important in life and understand the human connections we make are the most precious relationships we have. We all need to embrace the joy these relationships can bring, even in the face of a challenge.

Thank you to all public servants who admirably performed their jobs during the most challenging of times, keeping us safe and secure. Thank you to the residents of the Wolf River Region for having the values and beliefs that continue to make our home towns a great place to live, work and raise a family.