When the call went out for volunteers to help search for Dryden’s Joe Mindelli last week, it wasn’t surprising to see such a strong response. Since last Tuesday, hundreds of people, both near and far, have arrived at the Dryden Wesleyan Church, wearing their sturdy shoes and bright colors, ready to hike through the terrain in search of the 78 year-old husband, father and grandfather.

So often people want to help when a family is in need and this has been a very tangible means for the community to help the Mindelli family during this difficult time.

The past few days have served as a good reminder of the dedication first responders embody too. They’ve been directing volunteers and coordinating with other agencies to assist in the search. Two days in, Dryden Township Police Chief Shawn Peters said everyone planned to keep persisting.

The long list of agencies that have contributed to the effort—the U.S. Coast Guard, Michigan State Police, Oakland County Sheriff Dept.—also highlight the drive they all have to work together. As Peters said, in a time like this, the color of somebody’s uniform doesn’t matter.

The sheer variety of resources utilized are pretty impressive too. Helicopters and drones have been in the the air using thermal and flare imaging. On the ground there’ve been equestrian units, search and rescue teams, citizens on UTVs and on foot plus K9 units.

Being able to identify these bright spots—the volunteers, trained professionals and their stellar resources—help us keep hope alive that Mr. Mindelli will soon be found safe and sound.