Civic Support

East Wind legislation enacted in April 2001 reads:

Civic Support [credited labor] hours may be granted for members to:

  • Support another community, especially one aligned with East Wind’s values.
  • Support a local, regional or national organization whose goals are aligned with EW and FEC values. Members are encouraged to support local (in county) organizations.
  • Support individuals and families in need, especially those with close ties to EW, such as ex-members or friends of EW.

It’s been said a million ways: you can’t keep it if you can’t give it away, give what you can and take what you need, it takes a village, etc. East Wind’s civic support policy provides an outlet for us to help folks and places in need. We are community-minded individuals; it is important for us to have a way to support our surrounding community and the human family on a larger scale. This is our way of putting back a bit of what do into the economy of life.

East Wind encourages members to help others outside of our community, and even allows members to claim labor hours for time spent volunteering. East Winders regularly pick up trash and litter along the highway nearby, contribute our nut butters to charities and other good causes, and donate to the local animal shelter. East Winders have recently donated blood, volunteered for disaster relief, set up a free Rainbow kitchen, and joined the volunteer fire department, among many other good deeds.

Below is a personal story from an East Winder, recounting memories of some heartfelt instances where community pulled together to provide help and assistance to those in need:

“I’ve read old accounts from the Sherriff in Ozark County that speaks of East Winders being at the blood drives and food drives helping out along the way from the early 70s, which I imagine must have been one heck of a culture shock for all the kids involved on both sides of that fence. I also remember in ‘93 the AIDS quilt sewn by survivors of the disease that killed so many. When the display came to town, East Winders were the first to volunteer for this moving reminder.

We live two miles down a dirt road. We start our civic support with our neighbors! We are a phone call away from helping our closest neighbors with a bit of plumbing or a brush fire that gets out of control. In the country you find out how important your neighbors are when the water pump is out, and someone fills some coolers with drinkable water from their well to help out. We also do volunteer work around the local community, recently donating peanut butter to a local shelter that put a call out for food. We are often a phone call away from helping, and even have a section of road that we do our best to keep clean! Recently a few East Winders started the process of joining the local Volunteer fire department.

I’ve taken on a few Civic support projects with East Winders. The one I was very proud of was recently helping out with Joplin relief after a F5 tornado took out a 1 mile by 13 mile strip of land. We had heard that the city wasn’t wanting volunteers yet. We really didn’t know what we were getting into, but we loaded up the van and a flatbed trailer loaded down with a ton (no, really, a full ton!) of peanuts and peanut butter a few bags of clothes to donate and a pile of everything we needed to eat and live for a while.

We headed out and got set up with the United Way and we were stepping up to volunteer within a week of the tornado hitting. Our first job in 100 degree weather was to clear a field by the hospital. The debris was unbelievable, it was as if everything was shredded. Even cars and dumpsters were ripped in half and big pieces where nowhere to be seen. The houses on the lot where gone the basements or an odd corner would appear untouched. The devastation was as far as the eye could see and it really sunk in what had happened.

We took on another clearing day in a town close by that got hit as well working side by side with military, locals, folks from all over the country who came in to help Joplin. It felt good to be working together. We got to see the other side of the relief project as well, working in the donation center separating the massive amount of donations coming in to resupply these folks who lost... well... everything. Some of our crew utilized their organization skills in this environment and really took on and accomplished some big projects with ease. In general, it seems East Winders got some super hero in them.

We also got to spend some time with the people affected by the tornado, we got to listen to their stories. We never lost eye contact as they replayed the time in their head for us. We listened to horrific accounts. We hugged them, fed them, and smiled with them. We don’t have a giant budget to send people on piles of these missions but when there are neighbors in need we do our best.”