Editor's Letter: The Joy of Getting Involved

Lesley Jane Seymour on the power of giving back and working with Rebuilding Together

by Lesley Jane Seymour
lesley jane seymour and mell meredith rebuilding together image
Lesley Jane Seymour, right, on an April scouting trip to Gerritsen Beach with Mell Meredith, vice chairman of Meredith Corporation.
Photograph: John Bessler

One of the delights of being the editor of More is knowing how responsive you readers are. You don’t just read an article, close the magazine and go about your business. If it’s a fashion story, you may shop; if it’s a report on a social issue, you may write to Congress or to us at more.com (we have one of the most active letters channels I’ve ever seen).

Just one example of your desire to get involved: Denver attorney Beth Klein was included on our first Fierce List for writing Colorado’s 2010 anti-human-trafficking law. She later told us that dozens of More readers reached out to her, asking how to write similar laws in their states.

Like you, the More staff enjoys giving back. This year we’re helping with Superstorm Sandy reconstruction via Rebuilding Together, a group based in Washington, D.C., that has a long-standing partnership with our parent company, Meredith Corporation. Each year Meredith takes hundreds of employees, including editors and publishers, to a Rebuilding Together site to give them a hands-on experience that changes the lives of low-income homeowners. Mell Meredith, vice chairman of Meredith and vice chairman of the national board for Rebuilding Together, organized this year’s build day on June 6, when Meredith employees focused on Gerritsen Beach, a New York community devastated by Sandy.

Mell, who makes giving back a cornerstone of her life, describes the experience: “You’re right there, seeing the people you are helping. As the day goes on, they open up. You get to meet their families; you get these -really full stories about their lives and tribulations.” Best of all, she says, is “seeing the look of dawning hope on their faces over the course of a day.” That’s powerful stuff that I know you will understand. Check out Rebuilding Together’s work on its website and watch our Meredith team give it our all at Gerritsen Beach on our blog and video at WeRebuild.com.

Next: Editor's Letter: Just Do It Already!

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First published in the July/August 2013 issue

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