The Season of Giving
This year’s parade is different from past years. Not because of any gimmicks or special participants. It’s unique because we felt a real sense of community that afternoon. Even with the freezing cold, there was warmth in everyone’s smiles. And smiles came from everyone that day, not just from residents. People from all over came and enjoyed the parade. Cousins Natalie Eagle, Riley Eagle, and Lillian Matthies, from Staten Island – visiting family in Metuchen, sat at the sidewalk of Main St keeping warm with their hot cocoa. Fred Kimler who grew up in Metuchen and 7 year old daughter Shannon, of Union Beach, is staying in town with family and friends after losing their home to storm damage still had smiles on their faces.
A few more groups of people we spoke with told us they just wanted to experience ‘normal’ even for an afternoon. They’ve experienced generosity from people and from the community and wanted to say thanks by being present. Did you notice the collection bins placed along the parade route? They were meant to replenish our local community food bank for the holiday season. Another reminder of the need to give back to those more affected by Storm Sandy. Our community went through a tough time. We’ve also experienced how as a community we can pull together and come out stronger. Little gestures. Small steps. A community trunk or treat event. Or even a winter festival parade can truly make a difference.

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