As this issue was going to press, my Facebook feed was deluged with media coverage about the Las Vegas shootings and pleas from friends to help victims of the many hurricanes that recently struck the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. These days it is so easy to fall into a state of despair every time you turn on the news no matter where you fall on the political spectrum.
When I was a little girl, the television show “Mister Rogers Neighborhood” was a perennial favorite in my house. I loved his calming voice as he took off his shoes and sang the theme song “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?. The hit television show didn’t shy away from current events of the day. Mr. Rogers used to say whenever you faced a scary or upsetting situation his mother would tell him, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”
As a parent, I’m hoping to instill that sense of helping and volunteerism in my young children. Volunteering gives you gratitude (our issue’s theme by the way!) for all that you have and also provides you with a sense of purpose. It also helps to know that you can play an active role in helping someone in the face of tragedy.
That’s one of the reasons why I am so grateful to highlight our cover story on the tremendous work that the volunteers do at Northern Westchester Hospital day in and day out. Volunteer Idelle Skriloff repeats the adage that many volunteers share about their experience –“Volunteering gives me so much more than I give.”
Another wonderful volunteer organization featured in this issue is the Emergency Shelter Partnership. A consortium of 17 houses of worship in Northern Westchester band together to help provide a warm meal and a safe place for the homeless to sleep during the harsh winter months. And if you think homelessness is only an urban problem, think again. Many of the homeless who are helped through the program reside in Mount Kisco.
While the victims of the mass shooting and the hurricanes certainly need our help, remember that there are people and local organizations here in our own backyard that need your help too. And what can be more neighborly than that?
Editor, Inside Press