In this last test we passed with flying colors. Along with the horrors, I also witnessed bright lights emerging from the dark. These were the bright lights of neighborly kindness and civic pride that have always made Atlanta shine. Individuals and organizations rallied unbelievably quickly, generously offering blankets, food, water, shelter, help, hope and care to stranded travelers – and forming relationships that will never be forgotten. Moving from the television to computer to radio, I marveled at the bridges being instantly wrought across generation, geography, race, income, gender and faith: channels of authentic, unrestrained care that were truly inspiring.
I wish we were kinder more often, and that it could more often extend to the people and places where it’s most needed. Yet the power of our civic care on January 28, 2014 sustains my hope. As we held center stage in the national media, I sure hope the world didn’t miss the incredible thoughtfulness this region’s residents afforded one another as a tangible affirmation of who we are and what we are made of.
It is this reality that The Community Foundation aspires to see with our newest initiative One Region Atlanta, and the reality to which I have devoted the last 30 years of my passion. It is this reality of our Atlanta region that will always get us through the storm.