Dear Editor,

Johnson County residents come together as a compassionate, giving community when tragedy strikes.

Buffalo reached out to help the Roberson family following the fire that destroyed their belongings and made their home unlivable. The cold weather compounds the impact of this loss, as does a missing pet. The Roberson family story is one of overcoming adversity in the first place. This blended family has three children, each with specific needs and challenges.

Wes Roberson has supported his family steadily since moving to Buffalo half a decade ago. The family realized a milestone by purchasing their trailer and the small slice of Buffalo beneath it. However, the property did not qualify for insurance (yet). The love I have observed between Wes and Day and how they have themselves responded to and reacted to this situation is arresting. While demand is high at the USPS this time of year, Wes refused to take off in the days after the fire even when he didn’t have to work. This experience would be traumatic for anyone, but the family members have taken part in their own crisis response. Day was fighting the cold weather to try to salvage anything, but the smoke will remain in everything. She tearfully wished she could just walk away from it all. I wished the same for her family. While personal stories of trauma and adversity can be told by so many, it is extraordinary and uplifting to focus on gratitude in light of how much giving goes on in this truly small community.

Friends of the Roberson family, individuals and churches are too many to name, but they came together and gave and continue to show up to help this family in need.

Our law enforcement and fire departments helped them coordinate first steps. The Family Crisis Center is still central in responding to their needs.

The Sports Lure, DJ’s, Buffalo Computer Consulting and the Hampton Inn have contributed extensively to the family, along with Community Resource Center, the Red Cross, ANB Bank, the Boys & Girls Club, Papa Bino’s and others providing essentials and ensuring that this family knows they are not alone.

The compassion and generosity shown this family are possibly at the core of what brings most of us to live in a town the size of Buffalo. For all that we might want to change now and then about our city, one thing is certain: We need one another. Their need for permanent housing is still an issue, but because of what Buffalo citizens are really made of, the Roberson family will be together and in temporary housing for Christmas. On behalf of the Roberson Family, please accept a sincere expression of gratitude.

Margaret Bennett

Buffalo

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