Hurricane Irma left her mark on Florida in more ways than one. As residents of the Sunshine State began to assess the damage that was left one thing was for certain, people were hurting and needed help (resources, shelter, electricity, a listening ear, etc.) immediately. As first responders began to enter communities to assist with post-storm evacuations in unsafe areas, electrical personnel began working around the clock to restore power to customers, the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC) sought volunteers and subsequently entered communities in order to help in the recovery process.

As the FRRC continues on its quest to restore voting rights to the State’s returning citizen’s it’s very important to highlight the parallels that may not be obvious at first glance. Members of the FRRC saw a need in the community and immediately empathized with the plight of many of their fellow Floridians leading them towards action to resolve the dilemma. Innately all of us want to belong to something and to Florida’s returning citizens it’s simply to become a fully functioning member of society.

These acts aren’t isolated to times of natural disaster. Aaron Tucker of Connecticut was 7 days out of prison using public transportation to get to a job interview when he witnessed a vehicle hit a tree and flip over. He asked the bus driver did he intend on helping. The driver had no intention of helping. Mr. Tucker got off the bus without a second thought in order to help the driver of the disabled vehicle. Upon getting the driver out of the vehicle he remained until medical professionals arrived on the scene.  Despite Aaron being in a position in which he needed assistance as well when he saw an opportunity to help another person, he did so immediately.  This proves there is a group of returning citizens in search of an opportunity to not only restore their lives but also restore the communities they are returning too.

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