These are trying times for people worldwide. As Americans we are experiencing for the first time the incipient fear and helplessness that terrorism can bring. We worry about our families, our friends, our communities and our nation and wonder how we can help.
We know that no community, no matter how small, is safe from terrorism's evil reach. Increasingly, as we watch events unfold, many of us feel helpless and unsure of what to do to help.
I encourage every American to reach out in their communities and join a service organization such as Kiwanis. As associations of community-based clubs, Kiwanis and other service organizations provide a way in which we all can contribute our time and talent to our communities. Service clubs promote caring and compassion, brotherhood and understanding and can play a significant role in bridging the gaps of misunderstanding that often exist between diverse cultures.
Kiwanis around the country are coming together to provide support, create programs, raise funds and encourage friends and neighbors by creating a network of support in their communities. In the days ahead, depending on what the future holds, community groups may also be called on to play a large role in delivering vital service to neighborhoods across America. More volunteers will always be welcome to join in the vital work of these groups.
Today, perhaps more so than any other time in recent history, people are re-evaluating priorities and taking time to determine what is really important in their lives. We've given money, blood and tears in the past month and still, true to our spirit, we want to give more. Service organizations are an important and valuable way for us to give back to our communities.
(John Gridley, New York District of Kiwanis governor, resides in Floral Park.