Greetings To The Entire Baton Rouge Jewish Community,
Mark McGilvery with NECHAMA here. I don’t know where to begin. Honestly, I don’t have a clue… You all opened your homes, hearts, kitchens, arms, synagogues, adorable babies, volunteers, donations and so much more to NECHAMA and more importantly, to your Baton Rouge community during their darkest of hours.
I have been doing my work long enough to know that when the fires are burning post disaster, one’s truest stripes are always revealed. Some will run towards the trouble initially to help. Others may stick around a bit longer until the adrenaline wears off. However, bravery truly begins long after the dust settles (water recedes) and it is no longer convenient to help those in need. For several months now, the entire Jewish community has continued to fight for those in need. That’s courage! That’s character! That’s love! Your true stripes are beautiful. The cumulative effect of these acts of kindness and generosity IS what will repair the world around you in Baton Rouge.
Over the last 75 days in Baton Rouge, TOGETHER, we were able to utilize 600+ volunteers to contribute 15,000 hours of direct cleanup assistance to 114 families! Every second of every hour of service was provided completely free of charge to the flood survivors! How remarkable is all that!? You all are to thank for this! YOU ALL!
There are times when I leave a community behind and I am so fearful of what’s to come for those in need. I have no such fear this time around. Will there be challenges ahead with the ongoing recovery efforts? Yes, certainly. However, every one of you is a wonderful example that we can change the world around us and I have no doubt that’s what you’ll continue to do for those recovering in Baton Rouge.
My words will undoubtedly fall short of the feelings I have in my heart for each of you. Thank you.
Mark Jude McGilvery