Lending a hand to others brings positive outcomes

Nise's Notes
by Denise Schoppe

The Marlin Democrat
October 08, 2005


Stories continue to circulate about Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita. It seems no one went unaffected, either through family, friends or direct experience.

While there are indeed stories of horror, there are also stories of help. Central Texas quickly became a refuge to those seeking shelter. The City of Marlin was, and continues to be, among the communities helping others.

Doors opened. None wider than those of the Volunteer Fire Department, where over an estimated 500 weary travellers found rest, food, a warm smile and a helping hand. City Hall opened its doors, as did churches, motels and rent houses. The McDonald's parking lot overflowed, and tired travellers took time to rest in the Wal-Mart parking lot. Food donations poured in even as local citizens worried for their own safety should the storm come this way.

I've always felt Marlin to be one of the friendliest towns I've ever had the pleasure to enter and many evacuees from South Texas felt the same way. One couple even found their time to be such a delight that they indicated they may relocate to Marlin in the future.

I firmly believe in the idea that you get what you give, reap what you sow. Marlin's open attitude to those in their time of need will not go unnoticed and unappreciated.

Now, the Marlin VA hospital has opened up and been given control of to FEMA. Nursing home patients who have spent weeks in the uncomfortable conditions of buses, gymnasiums and anywhere else they could be "fit in" have found a new home and refuge in Marlin.

Once again, city citizens are being challenged to open their hearts to these people and their families. They're being asked to work with the facility's personnel and make these people so displaced from home feel that they are at home.

For those concerned with "what do we get from this," take a look at the potential for a boost to the economy this presents. Family of the patients and the personnel will shop our stores, eat at our restaurants, and some will worship in our churches.

Many complain that Marlin is "drying up." The best way to stop that from happening is to nurture the city. Plant the seeds of hope and determination. Welcome other people into the town and make them indeed look at the city and give it consideration as a possible place to live. Instead of pushing these people away, bring them into the fold.

Marlin was a bustling city thanks to the bathhouses back in the day. It was a medical hub that people came to visit from all over the country. Perhaps it's through opening our doors to people once again for medical purposes that things can turn back around.

We offered the hungry food and the tired a place to rest. We now offer the sick and special needs patients a place to get the medical aid they need. This is a chance to continue helping our fellow man. Grasp this opportunity with both hands.

Even if the benefits of helping others is not obvious, it is there. It is there through the rewarding feeling that comes from seeing the smile and relief on someone else's face. It is in the feeling of accomplishment.

Instead of asking, "What do I get out of this?" perhaps the question should be, "What can I do for you?" I assure you, the answer to the first question comes as a result of the second.

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