2017-08-13 / Editorial

Local groups have eye on greater good

This summer, nearly every weekend has seen a public, and often free, event take place that has brought community members together for a selfless cause. Families nearly each weekend have a fun festival, concert or celebration to attend, put on by volunteers who work tirelessly behind-the-scenes to provide the best possible experience without recognition.

As Aug. 5 music event Lost in the Woods organizer Lisa Forys writes in her recent letter to the editor, these events serve a greater purpose beyond that of an evening or weekend of family fun. As Forys points out, the goal of Lost in the Woods and other gatherings of that nature is awareness. “Let’s not forget the No. 1 reason for the event: Awareness,” wrote Forys. “Awareness that there is a need in Lapeer County to assist those individuals that become ‘Lost in the Woods.’”

Lapeer County has a thriving foundation of groups that exist to aid the less fortunate, the victims of violence or individuals unable to aid themselves. But almost as importantly, Lapeer County’s charitable organizations often champion each other’s causes, helping each other raise awareness and funds. The Lost in the Woods concert event last weekend at Torzewski Park in Oregon Township proved that these groups are willing and able to come together in support of each other. Charity is not a zero-sum game — one group’s success does not mean another group’s floundering. The sheer number of organizations that are able to exist in Lapeer County that are able to generate resources on behalf of their causes is proof positive of not only their ability to work together but also the generosity of Lapeer County’s residents.

The list of people and groups Forys thanks in her recent letter proves that. Dozens of names are credited with donated time, resources, energy and enthusiasm to the Lost in the Woods cause of supporting victims of domestic violence, child abuse, substance addiction and suicidal issues. In addition to 17 bands and a myriad number of sponsors and volunteers, Forys mentions organizations like Lapeer Area Citizens Against Domestic Assault (LACADA), the Child Advocacy Center (CAC), Families Against Narcotics and the Lapeer County Suicide Prevention Coalition based at Lapeer County Community Mental Health. While the purview of these groups may occasionally intersect, they’re all independent organizations, and in Lapeer County we enjoy, and perhaps take for granted, each group’s willingness to come together to champion each other’s causes.

The reason each group is so open to collaboration, as their organizers would tell you, is the understanding that at the heart of each cause is the aim to better the community at large. While each group has been created to tackle a specific social issue that unfortunately plagues Lapeer County, they also always have an eye on the greater good, and the knowledge that the success of each group in making a difference toward their cause is really the success of the community at large.

As summer creeps toward autumn, these organizations don’t take a break. LACADA, CAC, FAN and many others will continue to hold events in support of their causes and to raise awareness of issues Lapeer County faces. With Lapeer Days next week it’s possible festival-goers will see organization volunteers setting up tents along Nepessing Street to hand out information to passersby. Take a moment to say hello, to read the information, to listen to their passion and next time there’s an event like Lost in the Woods, go.

While we may occasionally have our differences as a society and as a community, one thing we can always agree on is that ultimately we all want what’s best for Lapeer County and the people living in it.

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