Dear friends and family from the Southeast and Appalachia to New England—

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, we have all been saddened by the loss of life and heart-wrenching devastation.  And as yet another storm hits, it seems these struggles may be far from over.

But we’ve also seen the strength of communities working together: As the storm surge sent waves of water rushing into the streets, hundreds of volunteers were already on their way to help, driving across state lines to find trapped residents and carry them safely through the flood. While most of Hoboken suffered without power, the residents of the sole community with electricity offered their power outlets and their coffee pots to their neighbors.  And in towns across West Virginia, where Sandy dropped two feet of snow on communities still recovering from this summer’s severe thunderstorms, churches opened their doors as emergency shelters for families driven from their homes.

In this spirit of community and cooperation, we want all of you affected by these storms to know that we at Highlander are thinking of you. We hope you and your loved ones have made it through safely and without damage. And for those of you who have suffered, we hope this spirit will be a buoy to you in the coming days, weeks, and months.

As the waves recede for some and others brace themselves under more falling snow, please know that you aren’t forgotten. From the mountains of east Tennessee, our hearts and thoughts are with you. Though these trials may seem to have no end in sight, we are beside you for the long haul.

Pam McMichael