What is the meaning of community? Too often, it becomes an easy, go-to, butter-on-a-warm-roll word that gets tossed around just because it sounds nice. 

It’s a word that invokes fuzzy feelings and a “We are the people of the neighborhood” Sesame Street vibe. 

For those jockeying for political positioning, it can be a cliche term that doesn’t always accompany action.

Community is a word we print often, whether it’s in quotes in stories or editorials such as these. The definition seems so simple: A group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.

What is the true meaning, though? 

Let this past week serve as a microcosm. We saw true community.

Judge-Executives joined on dicey treks along backroads with county crews.

Volunteers of all ages braved the elements wielding chainsaws and other tools to cut away fallen trees and clear paths for necessary travel.

City and county commissioners, as well as city and county employees, assisted in transporting people without power to warmth. 

Power companies worked tirelessly to restore electricity amid horrible conditions.

Businesses such as propane refilling and delivery services helped give the gift of heat to those who needed it so desperately.

Tree service workers have stayed on task as our area was pummeled by snow and ice. Road crews haven’t wavered. First-responders, often taken for granted, have been exceptional.

We can’t begin to rattle off everybody who contributed to helping this region weather the winter storms of 2021.

But even in this Big Freeze, it warms the soul to see so many neighbors helping neighbors. That’s what a true community is all about.

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