Editorial: Community rallies during winter weather

Southeast Missouri turned into a winter wonderland as Old Man Winter swept through the region last week. Although it was beautiful to watch snowflakes drift to the ground from inside a warm home, the rapid snowfall made it problematic for those needing to be out and about.

In March 2020, the term “essential worker” became commonplace for groups such as medical professionals, food and manufacturing workers, first-responders and law enforcement.

As snow blanketed our communities, the term was again at the forefront as we became thankful for additional sectors of workers navigating the winter terrain: postal carriers, utility workers, snow removal and road crews, convenience-store workers and pharmacy employees, along with volunteers for homeless shelters, pet shelters and food programs.

Here are some examples of people and services that stepped up when winter weather blanketed our towns:

* The Cape Girardeau County Sheriff’s Office volunteered to deliver medications to senior citizens who were stuck at home.

* Safe Harbor Animal Sanctuary successfully relocated dogs to local homes thanks to a social media request to house the animals ahead of the extreme low temperatures. The shelter received 60 to 70 foster home offers the first night, with 150 offers in total.

* And the wintry weather didn’t stop the Jackson School District’s Power Packs food program from delivering more than 430 bags of meals and snacks for about 215 students in need.

Thank you to these organizations, workers and volunteers who launched into action to be sure citizens got medications, could travel the roads safely, had electricity, gasoline for their cars, mail delivered, food for their families and made sure pets were safe from the frigid temperatures. Once again, our community came together to help one another.