It’s been 7 very long days since Hell loosened it’s fury upon my beautiful state of Alabama. 26 tornados in the North Alabama area alone, dropping like bombs, unleashing it’s wrath of fury, leaving far too many dead and homeless.
For those of us that were lucky, we went without power for days…we were lucky. Our area has now been named a CAT 1 catastrophic area…the same ranking that 9/11 and Katrina earned. …Yes…it’s that bad!
Guilt from having our homes and family overcame many of us after seeing the destruction. Little did we REALLY know how ugly it was. April 28th began with more phone calls than I could handle alone, searching for help with short term housing. Thankfully, we have been fortunate enough to place most of them and think we’ll have homes for all of these families shortly.
Proud of our @Homes Team
I’m proud of my @ Homes agents. From cutting down trees, to moving what few belongings they could dig out of the destruction, to organizing trucks loaded with donations, the @ Homes agents have been right there beside our fellow neighbors, giving to the community that believes in us. Even my elderly mother has been volunteering her time, collecting boxes for the victims. Many tears have been shed among us all. Many smiles have also been shared, just knowing we could make a small difference.
Our @ Homes clients have also been digging deep into the community volunteering their time. What was to be house hunting trips for many, ended up being a vital part of helping to rebuild our city. I’m touched at the outpouring of calls and emails from many wanting to help.
What Have I Learned
What I have learned from all of this is simple: Those that have lost everything are thankful. Those that don’t have a home are grateful. Those whose lives have been forever changed are choosing to see the bright side in all of this. I’m guessing that over time, the reality of what has truly happened will set in and the anger will begin. It’s only natural that they would need to go through some sort of grieving process…wouldn’t they?
I have learned that my community is one filled with love and those that want to serve others and DO. I’ve learned that we truly can count on our neighbors and each other.
What I Know for Sure
What I know for sure is this: I moved to the Huntsville area 4 years ago. I have been bitching about it since the day I moved and quietly plotting my way BACK to Nashville, the place I considered home. It’s sad that it took an event like this to make me realize what a wonderful community the North Alabama area really is. I have learned that home is where the heart is. My heart is now firmly planted in the Huntsville area. I”m here to stay, surrounded by givers and those that I have grown to love.
From Outside Alabama
For our readers that live outside the North Alabama area, you can make a difference by giving to Red Cross. The direct link for the North Alabama Red Cross is here : Red Cross of Alabama The United Way and Salvation Army are also wonderful organizations that need your donations. If you are interested in volunteering, please call 211 (just as you would 411). They can direct you to an area that is most in need, within your skill set.
If you are in need of immediate housing or volunteers, please contact Elizabeth at 256-425-1659. We are donating our time to help.
God bless Alabama! …we will rebuild. We are suffering great loss, but haven’t lost our community!