Virgil Winston: Marketing Guru

Unless you’ve been living in a cave, a cocoon or have decided to eschew all forms of media for the last week, you’ve heard the news. California is on fire—and not in a good way.

Due to the hot, dry weather and the high winds (known to west coast allergy sufferers as the Santa Anas), San Diego, Los Angeles and Orange County, as well as Arrowhead, have been raging, almost out of control. Fortunately I don’t live in one of the affected areas, but I have been breathing in the smoke and ash residue that seems to hang in the air like sooty cloud cover. It’s a pretty grim scene for those who have been left homeless and none too pleasant for those who have had to evacuate, not knowing if they will have a home come home to. It’s also been a rough road for all the fire fighters who are out there risking their lives to save others.

As with all tragedies, there is a small silver lining. As it turns out, our fellow human beings tend to pull together and help each other out when the chips are down. For example, a local eatery best known for sushi and starlets has opened its doors to fire fighters and rescue workers, determined to keep the troops fed, free of charge. Also, many of the Red Cross volunteers who populate San Diego Stadium were themselves former evacuees who decided to stick around and help out. Donations of food, blankets and supplies are pouring in and the mood, while somber, is one of community…and hope.

It’s times like this that we remember what is important—friends, family and community. Mrs. W. and I are planning to volunteer and have signed up for Red Cross Crisis Training classes at our local office. If you have some time to spare, I recommend you lend a hand. If you are pressed for time, you can donate goods and of course good old-fashioned money always helps.

If you are affected, our heart goes out to you and if you are not…count your blessings. It was Margaret Mead who said, “Never doubt that a small, group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”