Archived Opinion

A thank you for helping hands

Editor’s note: Barbara McCarty worked on a flood task force that allocated more than $800,000 in private donations to victims of the 2004 floods. This column focuses on the contributions of business that agreed to accept vouchers from flood victims and be reimbursed from the flood fund later.


“Pick up the pieces and get on with your life.”

“What goes round comes round.”

“Do unto others.”

These are adages and lessons we’ve heard and memorized throughout our lives. They seem to appear most often when things go wrong or we feel put upon. Seems we automatically think of them then.

Yes, the “pick up the pieces and get on with your life” advice came into full focus for all of us. Although it sounded rather uncaring or cruel, it was good advice; it was healing advice.

Without the help of local merchants and service industries proving what good neighbors they really are, the pieces we had to pick up would have looked much different. They wouldn’t have been as healing. Some Haywood County businesses sold their goods and services for a fraction over cost or granted sizable discounts, delivered goods for free, waived penalties and late charges, or stored merchandise free of charge until patrons could rebuild or replace their homes.

We owe a resounding thank you to our local businesses that emptied their pockets in order to inflate our wallets and strengthen our purchasing power. It was community action at its best. We owe our appreciation to those (banks, insurance companies, etc.) who greeted us with understanding and patience. There were too many of these businesses to name them all. They know who they are, who we mean.

The old adage that one man’s misfortune is another man’s fortune can always find a nesting place. But Haywood County has been blessed with companies, large and small; state, local, and national; that were willing to put capital gains into their customers’ pockets instead of their own.

We experienced old-fashioned hands touching hands and neighbor helping neighbor. It felt good. It was welcomed. It was needed.

Thank you.
Barbara McCarty

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