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The Times Demand It

January 1, 2018

Well said, Ronnie! Thoughts as we enter the New Year..

Ronnie McBrayer

Two WayAs Hurricane Irma struck St. Thomas this year, the staff of a small nursing home worked furiously to prepare the dozen tenants in residence. In spite the staff’s heroic efforts, however, the building soon shuddered beneath the storm’s fury.

Water began rising inside, the building’s doors were sucked away, and the rooftop eventually went airborne altogether. Left without electricity, communications, clear roadways, or means of evacuation, both workers and patients were left largely unprotected.

Then, four teenage boys arrived to help: Detainees of a juvenile detention center located next door. The boys quickly began moving the non-ambulatory out of the flooded portions of the building and they sheltered their elders with their own bodies, keeping glass and ceiling tiles from falling on them.

When the storm had passed, the young men continued to sit in the dark, comforting and holding the hands of the residents. Kimberly Born-Verneck, director of the…

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