Our corner of Kansas is not immune to tragedy. We experience severe weather which destroys property, from time-to-time homes are consumed by fire and many of us have friends or family who have suddenly become injured or unexpectedly diagnosed with a terrible illness.
Those who serve our community as law enforcement professionals see the hardships on an all too frequent basis. We see the family who works hard to make ends meet but still struggles just to have groceries in the cabinet. We see the woman who suddenly finds herself raising her grandchildren despite barely making it herself on a social security check. We see the children who come to school wearing the same clothes, no coat and shoes barely held together. These struggles lead to despair, stress and feelings of helplessness. We see many in our community, who through no fault of their own, just need a little help although they would never actually ask for it. For some it's pride. For others it's because they know there are others who need help more than they do. So instead, they choose to focus on their blessings as opposed to the tough situation they are in.
Along with seeing the daily struggle and frustration of many in our community though, law enforcement also gets to be on the front line of witnessing something absolutely incredible. We are often asked to serve as a "go-between" for those who wish to silently reach out and provide assistance to someone needing a little help during challenging times. It's a blessing to see the "behind the scenes" of neighbors helping neighbors. These generous members of our community don't seek recognition; they simply want to help others. Over the past year - and moreso over the past several weeks - the generosity of our community has been overwhelming. Absolutely overwhelming.
Some big hearts in our community have given relief to many families, which is shown as they start to shed tears of appreciation.
I've said over and over again how honored I am to serve this community and I've also said the people are what makes Cherokee County truly special. From those who helped someone struggling financially this season to those who helped an elderly neighbor winterize their home, gave a wave or a friendly smile to a stranger in the store, or those who were on the receiving end of someone else's generosity and vowed to pay it forward, you are what makes me proud to call this county my home.
I wish all of you and your families a blessed, healthy and Merry Christmas!
Sheriff David M. Groves