Love Thy Neighbor

This letter originally appeared in the February issue of Lake Norman CURRENTS.

There are many different ways to show love. While we all know Feb. 14 is a boon for the chocolate and greeting card industry, I had another revelation come to me as I’ve worked on putting together this issue.

It’s been almost a year since a global pandemic affected almost every aspect of our lives, from our job security, our health and wellness, our children’s education, to our eating and shopping habits, travel plans, etc. The list goes on and on. But through it all, we’ve had to keep moving, to continue putting one foot in front of another even though we’ve had no idea what the next weeks or months will bring us.

The kindness and compassion in our community continues to amaze me and make me proud to call LKN home. For every story of anyone struggling, there is a story of a person (or group of people) trying to figure out a solution. This issue is full of those types of stories.

A restaurant owner has committed to leading the charge in providing hot lunches for children with food insecurity as they attend school remotely, even while navigating his business through pandemic protocols for serving customers. A town has honored the memory of longtime community advocate, public servant and educator by naming a street after her in Cornelius. Another entrepreneur devotes his time to offering jobs to those transitioning to civilian life out of the military. Nurses and doctors at a health clinic volunteer their services at little to no cost in order to treat patients who fall below the federal poverty level.

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These are just the stories shared in this issue. They don’t even paint a full picture of the good that is out there. I’ll be honest. There are days when I struggle. There are days when I feel like I’m writing the same things in my gratitude journal over and over, wondering what else I can do differently to be more like the people on these pages.

Sure, Valentine’s Day can be a fun holiday, but as I mentioned at the start of this letter, there are many different ways to show love. You can support a local restaurant by booking a dinner reservation, or ordering takeout, or buying a special gift for a loved one at a favorite small business. Or go a step further and donate to a food pantry or volunteer service hours at a place that speaks to you. Be creative in the ways that you show love to those around you. You won’t be too hard pressed to find a way if you look hard enough. Every bit helps.

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