Sometimes the worst brings out the best. But imagine if the best of humanity shone all the time … if the heart of humankind extolled the compassion and generosity we’re seeing now, in the wake of Ian.

Earlier this week, I walked into my office to find bags upon bags of diapers, wipes, paper products, canned food and more … donations our generous, caring Central Florida community brought to help children and families served by Children’s Home Society of Florida in Fort Myers. Children and families who have lost everything. Families who — prior to the hurricane — were already struggling to put food on the table, already struggling to make ends meet … yet were sacrificing day in and day out so their kids could have opportunities they never received.

And then Ian paid an unwelcome visit.

But because of you — because of this community, our kids still have hope. They’re uncomfortable in the heat, they’re cramped in their living quarters as they now bunk family upon family, and they’re bored because the storm stole toys and games.

Yet they still smile, their parents still pass on their determined spirit, and they all see the good in humanity … the good I wholeheartedly believe is in all of us.

How do I know? Because today, I saw the face of a warrior.

I saw our Fort Myers program manager finding all of her courage and strength to take care of her team, to take care of the kids and families relying on her. As she spoke, she kept looking around the parking lot in which she sat taking our video call, struggling to contain raw emotion as she saw countless tents parked around her … sleeping quarters for lineman from around the country who were giving up comfort and family time to help her community.

She shared the heart of her team, of family support specialists whose own homes and lives were forever changed by a slow-moving force of nature, who refused to put themselves first. Despite their own losses, their only concern was meeting the needs of the children and families they serve. She shared the story of one whose catastrophic losses would be enough to cause anyone to lose hope, yet when asked what her needs were responded: “We’re safe. I don’t need anything. I need to help my families.”

It’s the heart of humanity in action. These are the heroes I’m privileged to support every day and the heroes this generous community is supporting during an unprecedented time for fellow Floridians just a few hours away. If you’re still looking for a way to help, the need is still there.

Let’s keep the compassion and kindness going, not just during a disaster but throughout the year. Open the door for a stranger, gift a book to a struggling family, sponsor a child for the holidays.

The best of humanity is here … let’s keep the light of good shining.

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Heather Morgan is the senior vice president of communications, marketing and engagement for the Children’s Home Society of Florida.

 By Heather Morgan

Originally posted by Orlando Sentinel.