Community is more than the place you call home

As summer approaches, it’s easy to focus on the everyday irritations: the traffic, the guy who sits too close on the beach, the person who brings 20 items to the express lane. But the area has had ample evidence of late to remind us that living in this little paradise by the shore is an experience notable not for its few flaws but for its strengths as a true community.

This past week alone saw funds raised for a youth soccer program with the old-fashioned?Springtime Jamboree, a significant donation made to the Camp Barnes summer camp by the ACTS thrift shop and its volunteers, a wallet returned to its owner (see this week’s letters-to-the-editor), a community looking to return a wedding ring to an unknown owner and the many people who turned out to honor a police officer who lost his life in the line of duty.

Evidence of neighbors caring for neighbors is all around us.

While we may no longer see the nightly gatherings on front porches or people cruising sociably down the main drag that once typified this place, these kinds of stories do serve to remind us of the small-town heritage of the area and how it has carried itself into our 21st-century lives as a resort community where people also live year-round.

People still give of their time, energy and money to help those in need, return a lost wallet or a lost dog, support kids in their education and youthful activities, check on an elderly neighbor or lend a hand to a single parent they may know. They volunteer with the library or Meals-on-Wheels or to plant dune grass. That’s not the case everywhere, and it serves as a solid reminder of the real treasure that is living in this place.