This week we saw first-hand how volunteerism helped save the day. As a boil advisory was issued Tuesday morning (since lifted) due to a water main break, community members came together to begin determining next steps and needs.
In times of disaster, there are often unsung heroes, and while there are entirely too many to name, I want to recognize former Grinnell Hy-Vee store director, Ryan Benz, for his quick thinking to recognize that bottled water would be a major need. You see, Ryan is now the store director in Newton and immediately realized a number of people were starting to load up one item from his store: water. He instantly called to see if they could help coordinate an effort to provide water in the community, and in conjunction with Poweshiek Emergency Management's Brian Paul, there were 4 semis in Grinnell less than 4 hours later! On top of that, volunteers came out to help hand out water to community members - what an amazing thing to witness and be a part of! (Please note: I am naming only a couple folks here, but there were MANY, including Ben Hall of Fareway, who undertook similar efforts this week to keep our community going.)
Volunteerism is important not just in times of disaster, but every day. I think it's easy to take for granted the community events, activities and initiatives and just expect that they will happen. But the reality is, they often need many sets of hands to help make them successful. This weekend proves this yet again, from the Rotary's Chicken BBQ being held today to Grinnell Little League's hosting of Small Town Baseball tournament starting tomorrow and Imagine Grinnell's Prairie Burn 100 being held on Saturday. There are many opportunities to get involved to help make our community a better place, and many of these organizations are desperate for help.
Please consider giving of your time to help our community and its organizations, whether it be in times of disaster or any normal day. And if you're around this weekend, Imagine Grinnell is still in need of several folks to help make their event a success!
p.s. As of 1:10PM today (Thursday), the boil advisory has been lifted for Grinnell! Many thanks to the City Water Department, their contractors, and all who helped coordinate disaster response efforts this week - we appreciate you all!