Now we know what it means, when we see a letter to the editor that says “How can I thank my community?” or “I don’t know how to thank you all!” When a family suffers a disaster or difficulty, the community often rallies round in a glorious fashion to help get them back on their feet.
After a fire destroyed half of our production greenhouse near Dawson, along with almost all of the flower and vegetable crop seedlings in it and much valuable equipment, the outlook was rather sobering. As a wilderness homestead far from services, our operation is uninsured, and it provides our livelihood.
And then, the Yukon to the rescue! Unknown to us, our community mobilized. Dawson City’s Fire Chief Jim Regimbal established a fund for our aid, and Dawson’s Mayor Wayne Potoroka spread the word.
Yukon News writer Ashley Joannou and Dan Davidson of Dawson’s newspaper The Klondike Sun both wrote articles about the event that prominently mentioned the fund, and the “moccasin telegraph” was hard at work as well! Before we knew it, financial assistance was pouring in from Dawson, elsewhere in the Yukon, and indeed from elsewhere in Canada and even overseas. Among the donors were many who chose to remain anonymous. How do we thank them?
The help wasn’t only financial: we received offers of practical help cleaning up; of seeds and seedlings; and of critical importance, we were given seeding flats and cell packs to allow us to continue planting. Our peace of mind was greatly helped by replacement fire extinguishers from Gil Bradet of Nordique Fire Protection in Whitehorse and the Dawson City Fire Department. Many individuals made thoughtful contributions of one sort or another, and many people spoke kind words of encouragement.
Repairs are now underway, and we are replacing necessary tools, equipment and supplies. We are busy planting, and looking forward to being able to harvest crops – later in the season than usual, and not quite as wide a variety as usual, but nonetheless we are growing again! This is the work we love, and the life we love, and we have to say: we love our community!
Thank you: to Dawson, to the Yukon, and to the broader community. We are lifted up by your kindness.
Grant Dowdell and Karen Digby