"You and your neighbors have been on my mind".

Those were the words of national TV host Mike Rowe two years ago in the aftermath of the devastating derecho. National attention being placed on our situation took a few days longer than some would have liked, while others will agree with the moral of this story right away. Iowans can do it ourselves.

For several days, we wondered if we were on anyone else's mind. Radio and TV silence from the national media outlets. Not that we needed it. But wouldn't it have been nice to get some of the same attention towards our plight as "sexier" disasters like hurricanes in other parts of the country (attention and help that they, too, richly deserved)? That's where the "Dirty Jobs" host came in.

On his website, Rowe talked about two letters he received from residents affected by the derecho in the Cedar Rapids area. For Rowe, it brought to mind his time in Cedar Rapids following the 2008 flood, when he hooked up with the nonprofit organization Matthew 25. He said then, "I was struck by the sheer resilience of Iowans, and their reluctance to ask for help". That's what Iowans are all about.

You can read the full post here.

The holiday season is a good time to look for ways to give back to your community. Ironically, Matthew 25's own building was severely damaged by the derecho but in the midst of it all, they were still out fulfilling their mission for those in need in Cedar Rapids. They have since been fortunate to move to a new building, making it even easier to fulfill their mission to "improve the health of people and neighborhoods by investing in quality affordable housing, healthy food, educational opportunities, and community building."

Visit Matthew 25 at their website to learn how you can help. Meanwhile, thanks again to Mike Rowe for bringing to light the post-disaster plight of being in flyover country. Here's hoping we can see the likes of him back in town sometime under much less difficult circumstances.

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