PUBLISHED: 5:16 PM on Wednesday, May 7, 2008
How do you thank a whole community?
How does one say THANK YOU to a whole community? I am just so proud to be one member of Juneau. The leadership of this town did the right thing May 1in passing on some of their reserves to help those that are least able to weather the energy crisis that confronted our community April 16.

Crisis brings out the best in a community. We see our mettle. We have pulled together - just look at the reduction in power usage already. I see more car-pooling, dim lights and lots of clothes out on the clothesline. Congratulations Juneau.

I just want to remind the people who will benefit from these grants that the money the city allocated to United Way and is being passed on to you through Catholic Community Service, came from neighbors and friends and businesses who paid sales and property taxes.

I hope that you will accept these charitable funds with gratitude. There is no entitlement to these funds. If you can pay it back so that others can also utilize them as a helping hand through a difficult time, then please do it.

Whether you can or can't, please find a way to say, "thank you" to your community. Thank each one of the assembly members, the mayor and the city manager for their leadership when you see them. Thank a neighbor for helping. Write a letter to the editor and tell us how this small financial gift helped you make it through this challenging time and remain as a productive member of our community. Volunteer some time for a community effort. Help pick up litter on May 10 (during the city-wide cleanup), stock shelves at a food bank, or read a book to a preschooler.

For more volunteer opportunities go to and see what is available right now. Find a way to say, "thank you."

Gratitude for this community's charitable acts is another important part of building and strengthening our community and proving once again that Juneau is a resilient, vibrant town that we all love. I know I'm proud of this Capital City.