Cold weather revealed many warm hearts


The following Facebook exchange on What’s Going On In Cottage Grove exemplifies the general consensus with the community during last week’s “Snowmageddon.”

Debra Cooper Riordan:

“Veronica I think we’re neighbors, my husband Jim and I moved into the white corner house with the big trees in front...”

Veronica Lind:

“Debra Cooper Riordan, Hi there! We are neighbors. We live 2 doors down from you. Alisha told me your power is still out. Do you all need anything?”

While the snow continued falling silently throughout the region and piling on more challenges with every inch, neighbors were reaching out to neighbors and lending a hand, a warm meal, clothes and in many cases shelter.

And it wasn’t just neighbors. First responders, local organizations and volunteers mobilized despite the conditions to make sure those most in-need were checked on and cared for wherever possible.

As we wrote about in our last edition (a rare Friday publication due to our own power outage challenges), some folks like 21-year-old Remington Moore were out on their day off offering help to those stranded on the roadside after being caught off guard that first day.

And those acts of Good Samaritanship are continuing. As Donald Burton called me Monday to tell me how a group of 20 or so members of Christian Aid Ministries (Oregon Unit #7) met at the Koffee Kup at 9 a.m. with a list of folks needing help — including his friend Scarlet Polgar, who was essentially trapped in her home located way up Abbott Lane north of Cottage Grove. Using Bobcats and strong backs, the group moved snow, mud and uprooted trees to provide access.

Meanwhile, in our own way, The Sentinel news team — though operating remotely from different locations — was doing what it could to keep the community informed of road, school, hospital and government closures, as well as where to get help, report emergencies and offer support.

In the weeks ahead, our outlying neighbors in Dorena, Elkton, Yoncalla and other small communities will continue to need our help and support.

When we look back at the March 2019 Snowstorm of the Century, I think we can be proud of the example so many in our community set, and the legacy of neighbor helping neighbor that our children will carry with them from it.

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