The East End, I Love You

Jessica Mackin-Cipro

The East End has always been my home. I’ve loved this little piece of earth more than anywhere else in the world. But my adoration has never been more apparent than it has the past few months.

These are hard times and, whether emotionally or financially, we are all hurting. The anxiety in our society is palpable and it can, at times, feel like the world is crumbling. I have found peace in the East End’s natural beauty and bounty. I do not take a single moment of life on the East End for granted.

Is everything perfect? No. But there’s an overwhelming sense of community, even while so many of us remain apart. I’ve seen so much good in our community in the midst of sickness, mourning, anger, and sadness.

This is a philanthropic community at heart. There’s never a time when we don’t rally around those in need. Lately, from “adopting” a high school senior to send gifts to, or delivering meals to seniors who can’t leave their homes because of COVID. And we will always know the countless donations to food pantries, and meals sent to local hospital workers. Here you can always find the helpers.

I was amazed this week by the crowds of people gathered to protest against racism and police brutality, in honor of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and the many other lives lost. Ours is a community that speaks out in overwhelming numbers. These protests brought massive crowds to Main Streets across the East End, all done peacefully, gaining much attention.

These protests, and those around the world, will change the course of the future. Black lives matter.

This past week was one for the history books. Real change can come. As we head into the not-so-distant future and rebuild, we continue to support small and black-owned business, be an ally to the black community, fight for reform, and speak out against racism.

This community has made me realize just how far kindness can go. It can change the world. It has always been my personal goal in life to help others as much as I can, through acts large or small. It’s what I’m most proud of in my life. And I’m thankful for this community that has always taught me this.

To this community, my home, I am eternally grateful.

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