Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Alabama, the Beautiful.

On Wednesday, April 27, as a monstrous tornado ripped through much of the southeast, Alabama the Beautiful became Alabama the Devastated.
For many residents in our beautiful state, it will be a day that lives in infamy. So many lives have been lost. The death toll now topping 300. And still, so very many lives that have yet to be found. Families, teams of professionals, and volunteers are searching frantically for anyone who might still be alive under the rubble. And to recover their loved ones' bodies, so they can have closure and a proper burial.

My heart aches for these people. So many of whom lost EVERYTHING. As the days have passed, and the media moves on to other news, many emotions have welled up inside. I have survivors guilt. My area was untouched. And yet, so many of the wonderful people of this state are suffering, and trying desperately to pick up the pieces and move on. How does one even do such a thing??

In the days since, I've found myself tearing up during our usual daily routines. Trying to imagine what a young mom would be going through after such a life altering event. Explaining over and over and over again to her preschoolers, why they can't go home. Why they can't find that special blankie. Why everything that precious child once knew as normal was taken away in the blink of an eye.

My heart has also been filled with pride for our great state. I've seen many interviews on national programs where the person being interviewed had lost absolutely every material thing they had owned, yet still went on to ask for prayers for their neighbors, not themselves. I saw one interview with Jim Cantore on The Weather Channel, where a precious lady being interviewed in Tuscaloosa ended with, "I just hope y'all can get some rest. Thanks so much for coming. God bless you." That's true southern hospitality. This lady was standing in front of a town she grew up in, and now where nothing was recognizable, she was taking the time to thank the camera crew, and wish for them to get some rest. I've seen many other instances as well, and it makes my heart swell with love and pride.

I haven't yet been able to witness any of this damage for myself. But I have tons of friends and family who have seen it all first hand. They all say the same thing: PICTURES DO NOT DO THESE AREAS JUSTICE.

Which is why I'm now coming to you, pleading for your HELP. Prayers would be greatly appreciated. As well as donations to any of the charitable organizations listed on the TIME website. They have a page titled "How You Can Help the Tornado Victims in the South." (Click here to read)

Many items are needed, such as bottled water, toiletries, diapers (for babies and adults), wipes, non-perishable food items, blankets, clothing, gift cards, the list goes on and on and on. And hospitals are in desperate need of blood donors. Please, please consider making a donation of some type to our sweet home, Alabama.


brooke said...

it's devastating! my neighborhood has so much damage, but it doesn't even compare to what the other areas got. i can't drive around or look at any kind of coverage without tearing up. it breaks my heart and all i want to do is help!

tarheelmom said...

Just awful! And so very scary. Our preschool just sent some truckloads of stuff down to st. clair county (i think it was). makes you stop and be thankful for sure!

Robin said...

Agreed. All of my family, except for my sister, are in Bham, Tuscaloosa and Walker County. I have been a wreck all week Holly. I had a total meltdown at Emma and Sadie's preschool yesterday. Sadie fell and stood up and had a small dent in her forehead and I. Came. Unglued. It rained the other day and I swear I had a panic attack. My brother's church in Tuscaloosa is doing a lot of relief work and I can't sleep at night b/c of the stories he's told me.

Jamie said...

I'm right there with you......Survivor's guilt like I have never experienced before. But to God be the Glory!! I have never seen such a huge outpouring of love for other people. It is absolutely amazing to see so many people wanting to help others. Because we serve such a loving God, I know that no matter how bad this is, we can find some good in it. And I think that good can be seen every day through the people of Alabama and all over this country, trying to help in any way they can. If anyone is interested in volunteering they can go to Hands On Birmingham for tons of opportunities to help.