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Cheesehead Chatter: Faith in humanity restored

Like it or not, our world is full of tragedy. Anyone who pays relative attention to the news knows that. But I don't mean this column to be depressing, so stay with me.

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Jesus Rodriguez rescues Gloria Garcia after rain from Hurricane Harvey flooded Pearland, in the outskirts of Houston, Texas, U.S. August 27, 2017. REUTERS/Adrees Latif/File Photo

Like it or not, our world is full of tragedy. Anyone who pays relative attention to the news knows that. But I don't mean this column to be depressing, so stay with me.

Despite all the bad this world has to offer, it always amazes me how quickly people can come together when catastrophe strikes.

The obvious recent tragedies I'm referring to are Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Their destructive paths devastated millions in Texas, Florida and surrounding states in recent weeks. And our country has reacted.

Every time I open a newspaper, turn on a TV or browse the web, I find stories of individuals and groups who are doing their best to help, which reminds me that good still exists. I'm especially pleased when I see big organizations using their status and influence to unite people for a good cause.

One such organization that I'm happy to see stepping up to help hurricane relief efforts is the National Football League. Now, I know the NFL is a fairly controversial organization, especially with all the recent uproar over players standing or kneeling for the national anthem. But right now I'd like to focus on the good it's doing.

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While watching my beloved Packers play on the season-opening Sunday, I was bombarded (in a good way) with advertisements and pleas for help and donations for those affected by the hurricanes.

My personal favorite ad was one featuring several football players who stated their names and the teams they play for. At the end, the players said they're all on the same team when it comes to supporting hurricane relief efforts. This ad is the product of a partnership between the NFL and Visa to raise money for hurricane victims.

The NFL itself has also donated money to the cause, as have several individual teams. The Houston Texans - not surprisingly - have been exceptionally generous with their donations.

I caught the tail end of the 2018 Miss America pageant last week and was pleasantly surprised to hear the hosts calling for hurricane relief donations before each ad break.

I personally know several members of the Wisconsin Army National Guard who were more than willing and ready to help when they were called down to Florida to aid Irma victims.

Last week's Echo Journal had a couple stories of locals who are helping by either physically trekking down to affected areas or packing meals for those who lost everything.

I could probably take up the rest of the space in this week's newspaper listing people and groups who have donated time or money to the relief efforts, but I don't think my editor would appreciate that.

My point is that I'm proud to live in a country where so many people are willing to help those in need. Yes, I know the hurricane victims aren't the only ones in need in our country; and yes, I know that more can always been done. But let's just focus on the good that's happening right now.

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Acts of kindness like the ones I mentioned - large or small - restore my faith in humanity and hope for the future.

Opinion by Theresa Bourke
Theresa Bourke started working at the Dispatch in July 2018, covering Brainerd city government and area education, including Brainerd Public Schools and Central Lakes College.
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