By Will O’Neill, Mayor of Newport Beach
By now, you’ve probably seen a good quote from Mister Rogers: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”
I stood on the shore break Saturday afternoon and watched helpers arriving. They were the paddlers finishing a 30-mile trek from Catalina to both remember Ben Carlson and raise money for the Ben Carlson Foundation.
The extraordinary amount of money they have raised in the past five years has done wonders for water safety and changed the lives of students who received scholarships.
Early in the pandemic, toilet paper was bizarrely scarce (remember that?). Local restauranteur Mario Marovic cleared out his supplier’s cache and donated thousands of rolls of toilet paper to low income seniors in NB and HB and then ran a distribution to customers too. He’s a helper.
Our Newport Beach Police Department, Newport Beach Fire Department, and Newport Beach Lifeguards have taken all that this year has thrown at them and stepped into the breach. They are helpers.
OASIS Senior Center volunteers still make sure that fellow seniors know that help is a phone call away and that no one is truly alone. They are helpers.
The YMCA and Boys & Girls Clubs are taking kids in who should otherwise be at school. They are helpers.
In the first few months of COVID, Mariners Church distributed over 42,000 bags of food. Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County has set up 26 sites across the county to distribute food to all children. They are helpers.
Hoag Hospital and their team treated our County’s first patient and continued to treat patients with national-level trials. They are helpers.
It has long been known that “if you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important.” (Gal. 6:10.)
Look, we all know that the news is full of “scary things” these days. Heed Mister Rogers’ mom’s advice. Look for the helpers. And because we’re now adults, figure out how to be one of the helpers. It is an incredible privilege to serve and to help.
In service and help, you truly are THAT important.