Looking in, Community

Published 3:21 pm Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Since I began with The Charlotte Gazette, quickly coming up on three months past, I have spent a disproportionate amount of time covering the administration of government in the county relative to time spent recording and reporting news of the activities of the community it represents. Currently, there are tough decisions being made by the local government — decisions that will facilitate changes, dramatic changes, in the County. They will affect each and every one of its residents for some time to come.

The County’s administration has spent much time and honest effort taking stock of the state of the County, the governing body as it is, and the best interests of those residents that each member of the Board represents in their designated districts. The phrase, “A long hard look in the mirror,” should come to mind. It has been.

By the same token, the importance of community, the people, cannot be underscored heavily enough. Those citizens; the families, friends and neighbors that work all week and then feel moved to volunteer to any number of civic activities. Many volunteer out of a sense of obligation, often borne of a simple and pure, deep rooted affection, pride, and urge to serve either fellow residents, or the place many have called home.

Two Town activities that transpired this past weekend helped wizen and humble my view of service. One activity occurred within a smaller community neighborhood. I knew of the event, but was unable to attend. I did, however, receive an encouraging email from one of the volunteers. The other event was an interview with Sam Rabon the Community Outreach Director for Habitat for Humanity. The organization is striving to work just as hard here in Charlotte County as it does nationally and even internationally.

In both instances, simply hearing of the sense of service and consideration for fellow residents — and then of efforts made to restore the natural beauty that is one of the true assets of this county remind me of the fiber and character of the folk that reside here.

Recently, April 6-13 was officially declared Clean Up Charlotte County Week.
Walking the roadsides and picking up all nature of trash thrown out by others to beautify your neighborhood and make it a better place to live is the truest definition of good stewardship. The job isn’t glamorous, nor does it reap a reward beyond satisfaction and the view of a job well done. Similarly, repairing or even helping to build an entire home, (my chosen profession for 30 plus years), for a person that would otherwise not have, simply because you can and want to is selfless service. It is an act of kindness few ever experience.
Such is the nature of Charlotte County’s residents.

It is going to take a long, strong sense of community, service and even pride of home in the trying days ahead. Chances are that, on more than one occasion you will need help or feel called to help. Accept it humbly and offer it freely. The qualities exhibited at the recent special events are typical of the County’s sense of community. So, make good use of them. You’ll see them make all the difference between “this seems impossible” and “we will make this work.”

Noel Oliver is a staff writer for The Charlotte Gazette and Farmville Newsmedia LLC. His email address is Noel.Oliver@TheCharlotteGazette.com.