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Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Muscatine Heroes

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By Ann Johanns and John Jensen--Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Iowa...
Charla Schafer
Charla Schafer
Charla Schafer is privileged to serve as the Executive Director of the Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine.

When we think of heroes, we often think of celebrities or those faced with a split-second decision that saves a life; but that view is quite myopic. And, the fallacy of this restrictive perspective has become increasingly obvious in the past few weeks. We have seen our community, Muscatine County, displaying countless heroic efforts every moment of every day. Heroism by our neighbors for our neighbors.

The outcome of disruption is growth and the illumination of the stark goodness that exists. This goodness is displayed through our friends and neighbors’ actions in both quiet and visible ways. We have seen these examples:

  • • Local health care providers working around the clock to manage the changing demands that are happening and ensuring those in our community get the care they need
  • Wilton Café and Jeff’s Market in Wilton and West Liberty providing food for children that would be without, because school is where they eat. These businesses don’t know what this economic disruption will do to their livelihood, but they chose to selflessly help their neighbors.
  • 30+ non-profits and area leaders coming together to discuss changing needs and ways to collaborate.
  • Non-Emergency Transport providing free delivery to ensure the homebound can get their medical and other needs met.
  • Muscatine Community College leadership locating extended housing for displaced students in a matter of hours.
  • Muscatine and Louisa-Muscatine school officials planning meal distribution for area children in need.
  • People volunteering to deliver food to shut-ins when they might prefer to stay home and not expose themselves to unnecessary risk.
  • People generously opening their pocketbooks to ensure helping agencies can handle the increasing demand of need.
  • Grocery workers, volunteers, and truckers working around the clock to meet demands.
  • People calling and visiting with those that are isolated and alone.
  • Workers continue to adjust to produce essential products and services to meet our community and broader needs.
  • Childcare providers taking children so parents can work when they would rather shut their doors.
  • Muscatine Power and Water extending grace in policies that will keep our neighbors lights glowing bright during troubling financial changes.
  • People displaying patience and understanding for the shifting decisions being made, knowing local leaders are tasked with immeasurable consequences as they balance individual and community needs in a shifting, untested landscape.
  • Tens of thousands of people in our community listening to the recommendations and being compliant, further protecting the most vulnerable.

And, the list goes on and on.

Heroes – each of them. Heroes – each of you. When we think of the greater good, when we think of others and not ourselves – that is heroism.

And, I am proud to say, we just have to glance about, and we see it everywhere. It is there every day. Times of disruption just shine a light on it.

Unusual times. This too, our community will marshal past. But I am confident we will look backward and forward with pride as we reflect on those, we call our neighbors.
Thanks to all for showing your humanity in untold ways. For that, we are grateful.

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