It was Aristotle who first defined the word “community” as a group established by men having shared values. Merriam-Webster defines it as a group of people with a common characteristic, or interest living together within a larger society.
In this area you can define it with a single name and a unified purpose: Jennifer Granek.
For those who don’t know Jennifer suffered a traumatic brain injury while on a special birthday vacation back on October 1st. She spent most of that month in a medically-induced coma in the critical care unit at a hospital in Costa Rica. She was finally transported back to Baltimore and is now at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma, stable, but remains in a coma.
In an outpouring which redefines what it means for individuals to support, show love, offer prayers and give donations for a common cause, the community outreach for the hoped-for recovery for Jennifer Granek is amazing to observe, either up-close or even from afar. The human spirit of giving, empathy, hope and love is alive and well in the Baltimore area and well beyond.
Shortly after the accident, there was a GiveForward fund set up for Jen, to help cover the cost of transporting her home and the expected medical costs associated with her care. In only two days more than $100,000 was donated from people not only in this close-knit Baltimore community but from all around the world. To-date that fund stands at more than $184,000 from nearly 1500 donors.
Just last night, Regi’s American Bistro in Baltimore held a fundraiser giving back 25% of all purchases to help the cause for Jennifer.
There have been concerts for the cause, one at Playoff Sports Bar & Grill in Owings Mills in late October with Tall in the Saddle, and another one coming up next weekend with Uncommitted and Scotty B Entertainment.
There was a special exercise class recently at barre. in Greenspring, as women gathered to “tuck” and “give” in another fundraising effort for Jen.
There are pocketbook and jewelry parties scheduled, (https://www.facebook.com/SusanLevyHeyman/posts/10153304875256588?pnref=story), there was a “Strong” necklace fundraiser and as the Granek family will tell you countless e-mails, social media postings and warm and tender wishes which come in constantly all-day, nearly every minute of every day.
The point is this – we all share in this human experience. When the chips are down, countless people will rise to the occasion. The power of social media connects us virtually, but it is the heart of human beings that link us as one, and spur us into action to help those who need us the most. Live your life the right way – show care, respect, concern and courage – as the Granek family has done and others will in turn give back to try to turn tragedy into triumph.
You only need read the words from Brian Granek’s recent Caringbridge post to know what the power of community means for him and his family: “Please continue to pray for Jennifer and our family. We continue to be emotionally overwhelmed at the love, prayers and support we have received. This community is truly special.”
Community. At times the world and life can seem overwhelming, chaotic and scary. But clarity comes with the care and concern we all feel for others which keeps the earth spinning on its axis and in the right direction. It is the power of community. We all hope this community is strong enough through love, prayer and support, to witness a full recovery by a respected woman, wife and mother to three young children. Brian says it best at the end of each of his Caringbridge updates: “Hug your loved ones and kiss them often.”
You can see this caring community is special, resilient and remarkable, three traits which describe Jennifer Granek, the woman we all hope will make the comeback of her life, for there is so much to live for.
Until next time, thanks for taking the time
Mark Brodinsky, Author, Blogger, Podcaster, Speaker, SpeechWriter, Emmy Winner, USHEALTH Advisors
Author: The #1 Amazon Best Seller: It Takes 2. Surviving Breast Cancer: A Spouse’s Story
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