Photo by Aaron Burden

Disasters, whether natural or man-made, can be completely devastating for the people affected and surrounding community, as well as for the first responders and volunteers supporting those groups. Homes may have been destroyed, belongings and cherished items may be gone forever, loved ones may have died, and people may have been injured. Simply enduring the event can be traumatizing. Even though the people affected have experienced such horrible trauma, something beautiful emerges – a community full of strength, cohesion, love, compassion, and giving begins to band together to help and care for those who need it.

It doesn’t matter how large or small the disaster is, the people of the community rise together and give their undivided attention and heart to the cause of helping families and individuals affected.

We have observed this first-hand in every disaster we have had the privilege to help.

The response from the community (as well as surrounding communities) is magically overwhelming and something that can’t really be put into words. We’ve seen people organizing food and clothing drives, opening their own homes or businesses for people that have lost their homes, searching neighborhoods for survivors who may have been missed, offering free food at their family restaurants for the victims, helping rebuild homes and communities, hosting vigils and memorials, or donating blood. Social media captures such camaraderie as #OrlandoStrong,  #VegasStrong, #TexasStrong, and #FloridaStrong; signs of unity that the community and country display, and something that people from all over the country use and focus their attention. Nationwide fundraisers and telethons have been organized to help provide financial assistance. In some cases, such as the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, people from all over the world hosted vigils and memorials and grieved together due to the targeted population of the disaster.

As we celebrate the 4th of July this week, we hope you remember all the battles, wars, and conflicts this country has endured to get where we are today; but we also hope you remember and reflect on how the people of this country have risen together when disaster has struck and how strong and unstoppable we are when we unite together. This is what truly makes this country so great and makes us unbelievably proud to call our home the

UNITED   STATES   OF   AMERICA