I’m a bit behind on recognizing that my home state of Alabama along with several others were greatly affected by the recent tornadoes. Why is it that I’m so behind? Maybe it’s because my power was only out for two days. My life was slightly interrupted. I went to work the next day and stayed with my sister who never lost power. My friends and family were all safe, unharmed and unaffected.
But my neighbors, those living only 20 minutes away in Pratt City, lost their homes. Or in Tuscaloosa, where my sister lives- just a mile down the road, there was more devastation in that area than in any other area. She was spared, fortunately. She could have easily been one of the many that died in the storms. Her safe place was her bathroom- not so safe for a massively destructive storm like this one.
My boss and I immediately felt we needed to volunteer. After all, our families and homes had been spared, and we truly had no excuse not to help out. So we decided last week to volunteer in Pratt City at the resource center, an elementary school filled with donations for the victims. I was amazed that in order for the resource center to stay efficient, they needed sixty volunteers per time slot. Tornado victims lined up as we led them from room to room to gather needed supplies. Some victims needed everything, which meant several trips to their cars with our hands full of food, clothes and other items. They were grateful as one hugged me and said goodbye.
As I sit at home on my comfortable couch with electricity and running water, I truly do not know how grateful I am. My one day of volunteering, I’m sure, helped in some way. But one day really isn’t enough. I read a quote recently that emphasized the importance of continual volunteering: “We are not running a race but a marathon.”
We should allow times like this to give us perspective and to remind us again that our health and relationships are all that matter. Unfortunately, those are the only things so many have.
I have only seen one area that has been affected. But so many people lost loved ones and all material items owned. What a blessing it is to know I still have the privilege of having a home. We should allow times like this to give us perspective and to remind us again that our health and relationships are all that matter. Unfortunately, those are the only things so many have.
These pictures of the storm were taken by Morgan Trinker in Pleasant Grove, AL. They truly capture the destruction that took place and remind us of the need to rebuild. You can see that this isn’t a simple clean up. You can see that it will take more than one day of volunteering.
Visit here for volunteer opportunities.
Click here to view more photos of the tornadoes by Morgan Trinker.
~ Brittany Trotman
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