What I’m reading: Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty
What I’m listening to: The Wild Reeds
What I’m watching: Being the Ricardos
Dear Local Government Community,
How are you doing?
I am tired, and I have a hunch you are too.
We have been through so much over the past few years: a pandemic, natural disasters, riots, cyber-attacks; unfortunately, the list goes on. We are trying our hardest to help the communities we serve. We do this while balancing extra responsibilities with limited resources, interacting with stressed and worried residents, and feeling like we are alone in the process.
Well, I have some good news. Your misery has plenty of company.
If you are reading this right now, you are part of a network of hardworking people just like you, and believe it or not, they aren’t miserable. It’s a kindness network.
I experienced their kindness this year in a way I’ll never forget.
On the afternoon of September 23, 2021, the unthinkable happened in my quiet community of Collierville, Tennessee. An armed man walked into a grocery store in the middle of town and took the life of one of our residents, while injuring many more shoppers and employees. Suddenly, our town of 50,000 people was a national news headline, and I was fielding all the questions.
During the media frenzy, I received messages from this kindness network asking, “Are you okay?”
That question gave me the strength to answer all the others, and the kindness didn’t stop there.
A communications manager from a neighboring city asked if she could help. A digital Starbucks gift card from Twitter connections was immediately sent my way. A bouquet of flowers arrived on my desk days later when I was finally able to sit down. A couple of hours after the news broke an email arrived in my inbox from the City of Boulder offering empathy and guidance down the road to recovery.
There was kindness pouring into my town from all over the country and you were holding the bucket.
Thank you for being there for me and the entire community of Collierville, Tennessee. You truly are the good in local government.
Keep up that good work, and please, stay in touch! There is plenty more kindness to share.
Jennifer W. Casey