(Juneau Empire file photo)

Letter: Snowstorms a teachable moment for helping each other out

The recent snow created an amazing opportunity for neighbors to help neighbors. Last week our Juneau AARP Community Action Team (CAT) members identified neighbors in need and helped in ways big and small.

Some looked in on homebound neighbors, and helped with food and other needs. Others helped with shoveling or providing rides to appointments or the store. AARP Alaska worked with Catholic Community Services to provide four additional shelf stable meals to 150 seniors.

Our weather event was a teachable moment. It is easy to forget that we can pull together when we need to. Each of us can identify ways to help if we simply open our eyes and ears. Fortunately for us, giving and helping isn’t a one-way street. Research has shown that deepening social connections by helping others increases our capacity for happiness and health by releasing neurotransmitters in our brains that lower levels of stress and blood pressure and increase mood and even immunity.

The snow has ended for now, but we can still check in on neighbors and help out as we can. Let’s continue to pay it forward as much as we can. Thanks to everyone in the community for looking out for each other and making Juneau a caring place to live.

Linda Kruger

AARP Juneau Community Action Team Coordinator