Letter from the Editor: One piece at a time


Carrie Pratt

Former Editor-in-Chief Lily Burris (left) and current Editor-in-Chief Michael J. Collins aid in the cleanup of several fallen trees along US 31W Bypass on Dec. 13.

Michael J. Collins, Editor-in-Chief

Dear readers,

Many of you have returned to find that Bowling Green looks very different from when you left in December.

Those who left town for winter break before the night of Dec. 10 were lucky enough to avoid huddling in the stairwells of their residence halls as a tornado passed a half-mile away.

Those who stayed were, in an odd way, lucky enough to see a community give everything to support those in need.

In the days following the devastation, there was no shortage of work to be done and good people wanting to do it. Food banks and shelters were set up as soon as the sun rose to reveal the tornadoes’ paths. Within two days, many organizations began requesting monetary donations due to the sheer number of goods they received.

Staff photographer Jack Dobbs picks up debris scattered across Lovers Lane Park on Dec. 13.

Some of us at the Herald joined together to pick up debris within the neighborhoods along Creason Street. We encountered teams of men, women and children who came and went through an ever-changing crowd of volunteers, each picking up what they could carry without expecting any re- ward. In some areas, piles of branches stacked 10 feet high and 30 feet long turned the streets into wood-walled alleyways.

Every branch in those piles was put there by someone who wanted to help. They may have picked up five branches or 50, but those piles wouldn’t have been there without a friend in the community picking up one piece at a time.

I’ve thought about those piles almost every day since. Knowing there will always be someone in the world who will help their neighbor gives me hope during a time when hope is hard to come by.

There’s still much work to be done, but the process of rebuilding is well underway. Some businesses have been able to reopen, many families have found shelter and food, and life continues to march on.

We at the Herald, every one of us, hope that we can be that friend that helps you. This is our community, you are our neighbor, and we hope we can support you, just as you have supported us for decades.

If you see us around campus or in your class, stop and say hello. Tell us about some of the good you’ve done, or the worries you have about the future. This paper is yours as much as it is ours.

Don’t be afraid to send our teams an email at [email protected] or [email protected] if you have suggestions for stories or coverage. You can also find us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok at @wkuherald.

I am proud to call this community home, because I’m proud to call you my neighbor. As you enter into another semester at WKU, remember there’s no challenge that can’t be overcome by picking things up one piece at a time.

We’ll be by you to help you out.

As always, go Tops!

Michael J. Collins, Editor-in-Chief