Katie Cavanna: Love is, and will always be, stronger than hate

A pile of Christmas gifts wrapped in Santa-decorated paper suitable for children

We pledged to donate 1,000 Christmas presents to children in Torbay, and we are close to our target which is incredible! - Credit: Submitted

Waking up to the news that our mobile community centre had been vandalised, took my breath away. 
In a naive way, I had thought, maybe hoped, that our wonderful bus wouldn’t fall victim to the mindless acts of a few. 
The whole community has been behind the work of RE4orm right from the beginning, so to know that a few individuals callously decided to destroy our bus hit hard.
Snapping the gear stick, cutting wires and causing untold damage to the engine, has meant that the renovation work will be delayed and further costs will ensue.
While it is unclear as to why this happened and the lingering questions of the uncertain future, who is to blame? What should and should not happen going forward? 
We must remind ourselves that love is, and will always be, stronger than hate. 
It may seem hard to believe in this concept in a time that seems so driven by hate and fear, but trust me when I say, we must not give up on love — no matter what form it comes in we must hang onto it and use it as our drive for a better tomorrow.
Turn on the news or login onto social media and sometimes it feels like no one likes each other at all!
Arguments, ‘heated’ discussions and misunderstandings clog up our newsfeeds and take up a lot of energy.
And what do we lose when this happens? For starters, the art of nuance and secondly, our ability to see the world as it really is. When this happens, we can also lose compassion for others too.
As I mentioned, it can ‘feel’ like everyone’s at each other’s throats, but in reality, there are powerful communities everywhere that build people up, not knock them down.
This doesn’t mean that you surround yourself with people that think and do exactly the same as you, but it’s about common bonds of respect and mutual cooperation that allow us to flourish around different people.
If we don’t have a community, then what do we really have? Well, it’d be pretty boring for sure. 
But supportive social networks have been found to protect us from stress and feeling like we belong somewhere is one of the key components of a meaningful life. Flip it around and being on the outside or unable to be a part of something can feel alienating and isolating.
If you do not believe that love ultimately always wins, take a look at our community in Torbay. 
Within an hour of the news being made public about our vandalised bus, countless local companies stepped up to help. The love and compassion shown by so many makes me so proud to live here.
Alongside this, our A Very RE4orm Christmas Appeal has captured the hearts of so many. 
We pledged to donate 1,000 Christmas presents to children in Torbay, and we are close to our target which is incredible!
Local businesses and community groups have been working tirelessly to ensure as many children as possible have a magical Christmas this year.
From Christmas hampers, to mountains of presents, to donated food – our community has come together to change lives. 
I really cannot express enough the gratitude I feel; the difference you have all made to the lives of so many is simply phenomenal.
At a time when so many are struggling, your selflessness and love, shows us all that love will continue to conquer.
As much I despaired at the news of our vandalised bus, it has not deturbed the work of RE4orm. 
In fact, it has made our mission and commitment to alleviate poverty and raise aspirations even stronger. 
Our community deserves hope, compassion and love – this won’t stop.
Remind yourself to be kind to others and to always choose love over hate.