On two recent days, I worked as a volunteer in Fort Plain. Throughout both days, I had the opportunity to work with two Amish families. Take a ride through the village and you would be hard pressed not to spot the dozens of Amish men and women helping the people of Fort Plain recover from this recent devastating flood.
During a short lunch break, I asked the father why he would bring five of his boys down to work all day knowing he has so much work on the farm with this being his growing season? His reply was simple, "They are our neighbors." What a caring and sincere response.
I wish I had more time to spend getting to know them. I only learned two of the boy's names.
But to all the volunteers who come to Fort Plain, it's not about the names. They are not there to pose for pictures or to be interviewed by a TV network. They are there because people need help.
In 2011, I spent several days in Schoharie and Middleburg after their flood. The resolve of the people in those towns was remarkable. I see it again in all those who have been affected in Fort Plain.
Total strangers coming from all over the region helping any way they can. Companies like National Grid and Frontier, to name two, donating food, supplies and employees to assist in the clean-up. Local churches feeding hundreds of displaced families and exhausted volunteers every day.
But stop and ask anyone what has impressed them the most and they are all quick to say, "the Amish." Dozens of families have put their own lives on hold to help out. The men are working in the flooded basements all day while the women help in the kitchens and aid stations.
To anyone reading this letter, I encourage you to take the short ride out to Fort Plain. The people will greatly appreciate your efforts.
To all the people in Fort Plain, I'd like to thank you for making me feel so welcome, and say "stay strong." Look at your neighbors in Schoharie and Middleburg. They have come all the way back. You are not in this alone.