Column: Building our community

ESCANABA — As someone who is new to Delta County, I find myself asking others who migrated to the area, why here? Although each journey is interesting and unique in its own way, the two motives that ring true to all the stories told are family and jobs. From the beginning, I could sense that community was an integral part of the livelihood here. Now, as I have been submerged in the Delta County culture, the sense of community is even more evident.

When you think of community, you may simply define it as living in the same areas as others; the community that we share is richer than that. It is about cultivating relationships, having common goals, looking out for each other’s best interest, and putting in time to build that sense of community together. Having family and careers being the basis of individual’s motives is an incredibly valuable place to start. Our great privilege at the Commerce Center is to foster those relationships within our community.

Just within this past week our community has displayed an incredible amount of cohesion. The 2019 Fire & Ice Midwinter Fundraising Gala was the perfect example of businesses coming together, lifting one another up, and supporting a common goal. Another powerful display of community was during the efforts to repair the water main break during our unpredictable bouts of inclement weather. Of course, when something breaks, it is common sense that it must be fixed; However, where Delta County carries strength is not simply in getting it done, but in how it is done. The Escanaba City Council, city manager, department heads, specifically the Water/Wastewater Superintendent Jeff Lampi got to extend a thank you to over 25 businesses, organizations, and individuals who offered a helping hand during the incident.

Seeing the bonds that tie our community together is easily done when you work for an organization like the Chamber of Commerce. My challenge to each and every one of you is to start looking for those examples of community; it could be as simple as engaging with your neighbor or a pleasant interaction in a store. Once you start to see just how involved our community is, you will be proud to play a part in building up our area.

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Nicole Smith is communications coordinator at the Delta County Chamber of Commerce

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