The Power of Hope

Hope Flower

It seems like only yesterday we were all gearing up for the new decade. We were excited about the 2020 Vision and as a community, Wayne County residents, we were ready to be done with bike paths, road construction, and winter weather. Then, without warning, our world was flipped upside down. We raced to the grocery store for toilet paper and food, closed inside dining in our restaurants and opened drive-up and delivery only, schools and colleges closed their doors and opened their computers for online learning and our gyms ended exercise classes. Uncertainty is felt everywhere and with it: anxiety.

At Forward Wayne County, we are focused on improving the lives of the people in our community and enhancing our surroundings. So, today we want to give you a message of hope: as a community, we will get through this.

Maybe you’ve heard about this or maybe not but, in February a small group of people were inspired to create Hometown Richmond Rising and submit Richmond to HGTV’s Hometown TV show. The idea was simple, let’s tell the world and HGTV how great Richmond is and why it deserves to be on this show. I watched as a group of people with diverse backgrounds, ages, and experience quickly band together to create a movement to engage the community in championing this idea. The idea was small but, it brought out the best in our community. This gave me hope.

While revisiting this flurry of activity in February, I watch the video the Hometown Richmond Rising crew created and was reminded of the 1968 downtown explosion. I would imagine the days immediately following the explosion was a lot like now. The feeling of uncertainty and what should we, as a community, do next. As I listened to Michael Allen describe that day and how the community came together in the moment of crisis. This gave me hope.

This made me think of the blizzard of 1978, which resulted in more than 27 inches of snow bringing Wayne County’s businesses to a halt. As I learned about how the community came together in the archives, I read about people jumping on snowmobiles to help stranded drivers and how the Police Department started shuffling food from McDonald’s to nearby factories to keep the workers fed. This gave me hope.

While I was going down memory lane, I decided to look up the video another small group of residents create to tell the world how, Richmond and Wayne County, is a place to grow, connect and thrive. This little video was a small way for a small group to demonstrate how much we love where we live. They did this video not for money or fame but, because they love this community. This gave me hope.

In Western Wayne, a small group of residents came together to help feed Western Wayne families. Every week, Feeding Western Wayne volunteers come together to cook together, laugh together, and serve together. They often serve more than 150 meals every week. They, too, do not this for the fame or fortune, but instead because it’s the right thing to do. This gave me hope.

Hope it a powerful word. Merriam-Webster defines hope as ‘to cherish a desire with anticipation: to want something to happen or be true’, ‘to expect with confidence’, and ‘to desire with expectation of obtainment or fulfillment’. I will say with confidence and a deep desire for it to be true, we will survive this, and we will be stronger and more connected than before. Our community is strong, and we will come together to support our community, to lift one another and bring hope to others.

What can you do now to help?

  • Join the Facebook page Richmond Response and Resource for COVID-19 to see what others in your community are doing and needing.
  • Visit to get up-to-date information about the COVID-19 outbreak, updated news, guidance and resources.
  • Take the time to call a friend or relative. Check in, see how they are doing.
  • Do the Five
    • Wash your hands often.
    • Cough into your elbow.
    • Don’t touch your face
    • Stay more than three feet apart from others.
    • Stay home if you feel sick.

What organizations, groups or individuals, who you know, that are supporting our community? Do you remember another crisis when our community came together as one?

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