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  • An Open Letter to the Allendale Community

    An Open Letter to the Allendale Community

    Our world is changing rapidly. Undoubtedly, the day you read this in April will look very different than the day I wrote it in March. Even with the changes that will occur between then and now, there is something I wanted to share with you about my observations over the last couple of weeks that I know will be even more true as you read them today.

    For what it's worth...

    I am proud of you, Allendale. The strength you've shown individually and
    collectively is inspiring. You should be proud of you too.

    In a time when physical distancing is meant to keep us apart, you've drawn
    near to each other in so many other ways.

    -You've faced diffcult circumstances and an unknown future with
    optimism and bravery.

    -You've checked on your friends and neighbors and provided for them in
    their time of need.

    -You've met challenging situations head on with ingenuity, determination
    and resolve.

    -You've responded to the call for personal protection equipment for our
    essential workers with generous donations both purchased and handmade.

    -You've rallied behind our local businesses and organizations with
    graciousness and support.

    -You've filtered through a constant stream of information to protect your
    health and the health of others.

    -You've adopted 15 years worth of new technologies over night to keep
    systems and learning afloat.

    -You've shown vulnerability and reached out when you needed help.

    -You've done hard things in the last month, Allendale. And you've done it well.

    We won't know the extent of the economic damage until the dust settles and we can figure out our new normal. There is no doubt we will have a long, hard road ahead of us to rebuild what was lost and broken during this time. I am, however, certain that collectively Allendale will answer the call to action, whatever that may be, and rise to greatness. We will link arms and show the same resiliency we've shown over the last couple of weeks.

    In the end, we will come out of this stronger than we were before because that is who we are when we work together as a community.

    We are #AllendaleStrong and I am so very proud of you.

    Janessa Smit
    Executive Director
    Allendale Area Chamber of Commerce 

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