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From The Chair - March 2021

Published Wednesday, March 10, 2021 3:00pm

Snow came down. New Braunfels stepped up.

Nathan Manlove headshot

It’s hard to believe that a couple of weeks ago it was below 10 degrees. The winter storm Texas experienced exposed many truths about our community and state, and I wanted to take a moment to mention a few.

First, the catastrophe exposed the true grit of New Braunfels. People talk about our growth all the time, but New Braunfels is still New Braunfels at its heart. During the cold, I saw restaurants cooking food for first responders, people advertising free firewood, neighbors taking in neighbors, friends offering to run errands for friends, and more "checking on you" calls and messages than I can count. I want to work harder to be one of the givers. Especially now. Will you as well? 

Second, the storm exposed how blessed I am. My family and I experienced rolling power outages like everyone else. AND our water softener is outdoors. Despite my best efforts to insulate the pipes and let faucets drip, the plumbing around the softener froze and exploded. So we were without water for a while. But through it all, we had a roof over our heads, flashlights, food in the fridge and pantry, and warm clothes. That’s more than enough and more than a lot of people in our community had.

The challenges brought on by the storm provided an opportunity to maintain perspective. I'm blessed, and I'm guessing you are, too. I want to look around and count my blessings more than my problems. Will you as well?

Last, the storm exposed a lot of people's hearts, as times of crisis reveal our true selves. Some people circle the wagons and ride things out, while others obsess on problems and complain about their situation. However, some people stand up and lead.

Leadership in crisis takes many forms. Churches and other non-profit organizations offered showers and shelter to anyone who needed them. New Braunfels Utilities was in an all-hands-on-deck mode with nearly every department working 24/7 to support our town. Our City government communicated road conditions and worked with New Braunfels Utilities to set up multiple water stations to help those in need. And as I said, New Braunfelsers took charge of the welfare of themselves, their families, and their neighbors. I want to stand up and lead rather than lie low or complain. Will you as well?

The storm was pretty bad, for sure. But it was also pretty amazing. Thank you, God, that we live in New Braunfels.

Nathan Manlove

2021 Chamber Chair of the Board