If there is one thing we've learned from Monday's disastrous storm it's that everyone has a story. And for every story, there's a helping hand.
Whether it's the young child whose arms are barely big enough to haul his load of sticks, the neighbor who checks in on an elderly friend or the Red Cross volunteer that hands out bottled water - they are among us and working tirelessly - and it's extraordinary.
Over the past few days the communities in Marshall and Tama Counties have been in crisis. In the wake of the storm thousands have been without power and many have been without shelter. In a true spirit of camaraderie we've demonstrated what Iowans do - we pitch in, give of ourselves and get things done.
T-R PHOTO BY ABIGAIL PELZER
Jace Jordan hauls tree limbs from the backyard of the home of Karen Counts, 1001 Finkle Ave. in Marshalltown on Wednesday afternoon.
Within Marshalltown and the surrounding communities we've found compassion and giving, neighbors helping neighbors, youth groups helping complete strangers and people who have traveled across the state to lend a hand.
Meanwhile utility workers, fire departments, sheriff's deputies, city workers and emergency management, among others have been remarkable in the relief effort.
As we continue to walk down a long path to recovery from this disaster, we find great solace in community support.
There is much to be grateful for including the safety of our families, friends and neighbors. We're reminded of the many gifts in our lives that we take for granted each day. Let's each embrace the people in our lives who are making a difference and continue to look for the ways in which we are truly fortunate.