Handling Life With Care

A letter from the editor of Orlando, The City's Magazine.

Roberto Gonzalez

The small mailing pouch in my office mailbox two weeks after the Pulse nightclub massacre was hard to miss: It was bright purple and had “#hangaheart’’ handwritten across the back.

Inside was a stuffed, simply sewn purple and pink heart with a yellow piece of fabric attached that made it suitable for hanging. An accompanying card said “Love Is Free—So Are These Hearts.’’ But that wasn’t all. Enclosed on a sheet of notebook paper was this message in the handwriting of a youngster: “Please tell us of anyone who needs some love we will mail them a heart. Love, Jacquelyn.’’

That would be 7-year-old Jacquelyn Salisbury, and this mailing was the beginning stages of a heartfelt project started by her and siblings Gavin, 11, and Victoria, 10. At last count the caring trio had given out nearly 4,000 hearts to people on the street, to celebrities, even to the Pulse entertainment manager. 

The Salisburys are kids who care, just three of many you’ll read about in this issue, from a teenager who collects clothing to give out to less fortunate children, to a group of middle schoolers whose fund-raisers guarantee that no financially strapped classmates are left behind when it comes to the big school field trip. These youngsters walk the walk, spreading kindness and demonstrating a keen sense of concern for the community’s well-being. I was about to add “well beyond their years.” But these days it’s debatable whether passing years really add to our sense of compassion—which is why I found these stories of caring so inspiring. I hope you will too.

Elsewhere, our Wedding section is full of ideas about dresses, venues, flowers and much more. We also feature our annual guide to private schools, with essential information to guide you in making well-informed decisions about your children’s future.

In addition, we welcome our new Extra Pulp columnist, Laura Anders Lee, whose family is always out and about because she preaches the gospel of the family bucket list. Staying in the category of “Just Get Out and Do It,’’ Dan Tracy explores why so many Baby Boomers (including himself) are choosing adventurous getaways, opting for climbing a mountain rather than clambering into a hammock. Laura has a heavy-metal conversation with Bok Tower’s carillonneur (some of those beautiful bells weigh up to 12 tons). And Joseph Hayes reviews the outstanding DoveCote restaurant, where the chef specializes in “approachable French comfort food.”

Speaking of culinary tastes, time is running short to vote in our annual Dining Awards. The categories range from Best Italian to Best Kept Secret, Most Romantic to Best Place to Take the Kids. Deadline to vote is Feb. 1, and your name will be placed in a random drawing to win dinner for two at a top local restaurant just for voting.

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