Opinion: Communities really come together when tragedy strikes

When tragedy strikes, communities pull together to support one another.

While the Oso landslide didn’t happen on Whidbey Island, it did affect some in the community.

And regardless of where it occurred, the Whidbey Island community is rallying in several different ways.

Well-known Penn Cove Shellfish owners and brothers Ian and Rawle Jefferds lost family.

Their brother, Seth Jefferds, lost his wife Christina and granddaughter; four-month-old Sanoah Huestis is the youngest of the known victims.

The Jefferds are an integral part of the community and give back whenever they can. Their participation in Musselfest brings people to town, helps boost local economy and raises money for student scholarships.

In small communities like Coupeville, most people know one another.

When one hurts, they all hurt.

In support of the Jefferds, the community is holding a benefit concert featuring Whidbey-based Johnny Bulldog 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Roller Barn in Oak Harbor. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets are $50 and can be purchased in several locations in Coupeville and Oak Harbor. The venue, food and drinks are all donated by the community.

A fund has also been set up to support Seth Jefferds at www.gofundme.com/7s58tc

Others in the community are also stepping up, finding ways to collect donations and help.

Whidbey Coffee, which has locations all over the island, was collecting money this week at any of its locations. The coffee company also said it will match any donations up to $1,000.

Also, with opening day of the Coupeville Farmers Market Saturday, the market, in coordination with the Coupeville Historic Waterfront Association and Coupeville Chamber of Commerce, will be hosting a coin, cash and check drive called “Community to Community, Heart to Heart.” Proceeds will go to American Red Cross with designations to Oso relief.

The market is 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Coupeville Community Green behind the library.

Whether you have the monetary means to show support or find other ways, we encourage the community to come together in any way it can.

Remember, it was only a year ago we were dealing with our own landslide and the community then rallied in support.

Thankfully at that time we weren’t mourning the loss of loved ones.


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