As snow piled up as much as 5 inches high Jan. 21 in Prince George’s County, it would have been easy for residents to plow their own walkways and turn a blind eye to the mounds of snow in neighbors’ driveways — but many didn’t.

Instead, in communities around the county, neighbors pitched in to clear senior citizens’ sidewalks or that of the entire block to make the day just a bit easier for everyone. Children who reveled in the closing of schools pitched in as well, learning lessons about community service and, in some cases, how to earn a few dollars for a hard day’s work.

It’s a stark contrast to measures taken before snowfall. Residents stock up on food and supplies as though they won’t see the light of day for weeks, and parents look for options to prevent cabin fever as children bemoan being stuck in the house.

Much of the pre-snow preparations are done in anticipation of being secluded, and yet the activities after the snowfall are just the opposite.

Neighbors who generally just give a friendly wave as they come and go home each day actually take time to catch up on each others’ lives as they help dig out a safe path or remove piles of plowed snow from behind cars.

The saying goes that every cloud — even a snow cloud — has a silver lining. Clearly, the sense of community that has been evident in many neighborhoods proves the saying true.