Community Matters – YOU Matter!

By AnnMichelle G. Hart, Esq.
April 7, 2014 

No matter who you are or what you do, YOU are the fabric of your community and you DO matter!  Your life influences people around you.  Community is no longer just a place, or a preset group of people.  A community today is made up of those people you touch when your life intersects theirs – even if just for a moment

In the weeks this website went from being just an idea to a tangible form, several major events happened in the world.  First, we lost Malaysia MH370 when it disappeared from radar.  As of this writing, still no trace has been found of it or her passengers and crew.  Next, a massive mudslide roared through a tightly knit rural area in my state killing almost everyone in its path.  Until that event, many people (even in this state) didn’t know Oso was the name of a town – let alone where it was located.  Lastly, a mother and father were frantically searching for their 13 year old daughter who didn’t come home after school on a Friday afternoon and just vanished into the big city. 

As different as these events are, their impact is exactly the same. Their world, their community, has been irreversibly changed.  And their communities reacted the same way.  People went out of their way to help provide any information that would bring comfort to those left behind.  Strangers with tech skills took to the web to help search thousands of miles of ocean looking for debris from a possible plane crash creating a community of searchers.  Individuals, cities, and counties sent search teams, tools, money, and food to the command center at the mudslide creating a support community for the search of the missing and to help the survivors.  Facebook acquaintances and strangers passed around the mother’s plea for help in locating her daughter creating a community loving a missing child.  People coming together offering an amazing amount of help to each other.  No questions.  No judgment.  No shame.  Just wanting to end the unknown and the suffering somehow.  That’s community. 

In one of these cases, I’m happy to say there has been a happy ending.  After being missing for more than 48 hours, the Facebook plea located the 13 year old.  City Police took her to their offices and her parents were able to pick her up shortly thereafter.   She hadn’t run away from home and there was no abuse or neglect at home.  She admits that she and her family are close.  Here’s the kicker: She just didn’t think anyone would miss her if she were gone.   She was truly amazed by the lengths her family took to find her. 

I think everyone has times when they feel invisible.  But you are not invisible.  Taken for granted now and then maybe, but not invisible.  When something happens to you, it sends ripples throughout your community which contains all kinds of people, including lawyers.  We’re here when something (good or bad) happens to you.  Let us help you.  We are, after all, part of a community that matters.  You matter.