“We don’t heal in isolation, but in community.” – S. Kelley Harrell
First responder culture has a powerful camaraderie, one unlike other communities. We stand by one another, look out for one another, and risk our necks for each other. It’s in the job description. It’s ingrained in our deeper selves.
There are times we retreat into ourselves, hiding our wounds and not wanting to be a bother to those we love.
Thankfully, we don’t let our brethren suffer alone if we can help it. We have built communities and organizations for these very purposes. We find many avenues for our responders to bond and grow to strengthen both the individual and the community at large.
As we look to Veterans Day this weekend, we remember some of the ways we support our responders (including military) and those communities. There’s so much an individual can do, but here’s just a sample.
How Communities & Individuals Help First Responders
Sometimes we help the individual and sometimes we help a department. We’ve broken down some common ways you can involve yourself in supporting first responders and military in your area and beyond.
If you’re not registered to vote and can, please do. Your vote matters and your support in votes that could change the support or conditions for first responders could be vital. Learn the proposed bills and laws. Get to know your local departments’ needs. Be informed. Then go out and vote, supporting those who support your communities.
There are more volunteer opportunities in your area than you may realize. Check with your local VA and ask if there’s a need for volunteers. Call your local police and fire departments and see if there are any opportunities for civilian help. It could be an event they’re hosting or a department need, but you never know unless you ask.
It takes less effort than you may think to advocate for first responders, military, and veterans’ needs. Get yourself informed, listen to podcasts, read local news, and share what you know. Whether you’re reposting, speaking publicly, or emailing your state rep, your voice makes a difference. The more voices speak up for first responders, the louder the message.
It’s a tough economy right now, but if you’re in a position to help those in need, please do. You might be donating a fresh pack of socks or underwear to the local VA. You could offer a small monetary donation to a drive supporting the family of a fallen responder. Large or small, all donations help support our communities.
Lastly, if nothing else, your presence is greatly appreciated at local events. Communities wouldn’t be strong without a strong presence. Attending events, participating, or just stopping by quickly means so much to those who serve every day. Bring your little one to see your local department. Swing by the event to say hi and thank you to the men and women who dedicate their lives to your communities’ safety. Be there.
Communities & Individuals’ Bond
The most powerful virtue of a single person is the ability to love and care for another. When we reach out to others, we create opportunities for healing, building, trusting, growing, and more. Communities are more than groups of people; communities are a bond. They’re common values, common interests, and common goals. Yes, we’re all in different boats, but we’re moving in the same direction. Let’s continue to build each other up, reach out and listen to our brethren, healing wounds and growing stronger with one another.
God Bless our veterans and bless our communities.