Laguna Niguel is a City of kindness, compassion, generosity, and volunteerism. Evidence of this has never been more clear than it is now, during these trying times caused by the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) health crisis.
Having served on the Laguna Niguel City Council since 2012, I look back on the countless occasions that I have had the opportunity to stand before our community’s various groups, clubs, and organizations to honor many incredible volunteers. On every occasion I am left in awe by their selflessness and dedication to put “others before self”. Laguna Niguel has always been a community filled with residents who have given their time, selflessly, to those in need. Despite the hardship at hand, Laguna Niguel residents continue to do so today. It is the generosity of these volunteers that make Laguna Niguel one of the best places to live, work, raise a family, and visit.
In times or hardship communities are often presented with two options – selfishness or selflessness. Knowing the type of people that make up this community, I knew that we would choose selflessness. During this health crisis, I and many others in our community, have witnessed incredible displays of kindness and selflessness by residents. It has truly been overwhelming. I would like to highlight some of these uplifting acts of generosity, kindness and compassion that are taking place right here in our community over the last few weeks. Kindness inspired many residents to share essential goods with their neighbors as grocery stores rushed in preparation for the need for residents to stay at home. It led to grocery stores opening early for our senior residents and in some instances residents of younger age were assisting them into the stores to make a stressful shopping experience easier. Compassion inspired a neighbor to donate their now-grown children’s bicycles to a young family trying to remain frugal in times of economic uncertainty, and it encouraged a neighborhood to organize a social distancing block party filled with music, dancing, and laughter. Generosity led a Laguna Niguel restaurant to donate food to Mission Hospital and City Hall workers, and local businesses to donate safety equipment to our brave health care workers. It inspired a local dentist to donate several boxes of latex gloves to the Meals on Wheels volunteers. Volunteerism inspired residents to check on their senior neighbors and walk their dogs as they self-isolate. The examples of #LagunaNiguelStrong are bountiful and endless.
With the health crisis we are dealing with today, I have come to the realization that like many cities, this is one of the very few Citywide crises that we have endured together as a community. This is not the new normal, but yet an outlier in the esteemed history of this City. Times like these, and the actions that we take, will undoubtedly have a lasting impact on this community’s path forward. #LagunaNiguelStrong is not simply a proverbial saying, but rather, exemplifies the generous actions taken by our community’s residents time and time again when the going gets tough. Words cannot express the pride that I have for this City and our residents. If we continue displaying kindness, compassionate behavior, and generous actions, we will get through this difficult time together, as one – as Laguna Niguel. Through the good times and the uncertain times there is no doubt that Laguna Niguel is and will always be the best place to call home.