What do you do when tragedy strikes? What do you when life’s fragile breath is wisped away? What do you do when scars are seared deep within your soul? What do you do when nature’s power is fully exposed upon your picturesque valley?
You rise up, lock hands with one another and stand together. You lay aside individual differences for the cause of helping others. You use your talents and skills to help a neighbor.
You lend your shoulder. You cry. You smile. You love.
I am humbled by all who recently helped during our tragedies. I can’t thank people by name because I could never name them without omitting some.
Thanks to those who worked long hours at the AMS shelter. Thanks to those who brought food and warm blankets. Thanks to the ham operators who worked for hours in a corner, mostly alone.
Thanks to the churches that provided meals. Thanks to the businesses who donated at a moment’s notice. Thanks to the “mom and pop” businesses who gave from deep within their profits. Thanks to the students for all the sandwiches you made, bags packed, and technology assistance. Thanks to those who tirelessly delivered food to the “front line.”
Thanks to the utility companies that worked so diligently to restore service. Thanks to those who saw a need written on a marker board and filled those needs.
Thanks to the ministers for fulfilling your call. Thanks to you who no one knew what or how much you contributed.
Thanks to the drivers of the food trucks. Thanks to the one who sent the tractor-trailer for our clothes. Thanks to those who sorted those clothes.
Thanks to the ones who managed our Facebook account. Thanks to those who moved thousands of bottles of water. Thanks to the one who sent 1,500 boxes. Thanks to those who spent most of the day bent over sorting. Thanks to the cooks.
Thanks to the fellow administrators, employees, and teachers both from the Ashville schools and beyond. Thanks to those whom I have forgotten.
Thanks to my wife and kids for letting me do what I do. Thanks to the victims for sharing their stories.
Thanks for the prayers. Thanks be to God.
— Phillip Johnson, Principal, Ashville Middle School