Friday, May 13, 2011

My Visit to the Tornado Disaster Area in Pleasant Grove Alabama

My son Zach and I had a chance to go into the Tornado Disaster Area last weekend to help the victims of this horrible disaster. I thought I would give an update on how it was to actually see the wreckage. Out of all of the pictures I have seen on the Internet and on the news, nothing compares to witnessing it first hand. None of the pictures even come close to doing it any kind of justice.

It had been almost a week since the storm had passed when my son and I had the chance to go out there and help these wonderful people. We pulled up to a four way stop where we were stopped by the National Guard. They had to have our names and addresses. Then wanted to see our License. ( This process was taken due to looters, so sad!). When they were done with us they waved us on through after telling us to stay out of the Utility Trucks' and Heavy Equipments way. Our next stop was a small grocery store on the left that barely survived the storm. There they had set up a distribution area for people to drop off any donations they might have, and for the victims to come and get any of the things that they might need. So we stopped here also and picked up about 5 cases of bottled water and 6 bags of ice and filled our cooler up. We couldn't serve hot dogs without some ice cold water, it was horribly hot that day.

The company that I work for had made a fairly large donation. So a co-worker and I thought it would be a good idea if we bought hot dogs, buns, & chips with that money, cooked them, and passed them out to anyone who wanted them in the disaster area. So this is what we did. My co-worker drove the truck and my son and I sat in the back talking to every sole who came close.

Everyone out there was so thankful. Not just for the food, but to have someone to tell their story too. Their stories were so sad. Me having a huge heart wanted to take everyone of them home with me. After it was all said and done we had been out there all day and were absolutely beat, but very fulfilled that we had brought some joy to so many people that day.

Here are some of the pictures I took that day (remember I am not the best photographer)

Please see the post prior to this one and learn how you can help. These people were left with nothing. So even the smallest amount means a lot to them.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Help the Alabama Tornado Victims!!!!

Whether you are able to DONATE or not PLEASE REPOST this on your Blog, Facebook, Twitter(etc.) and help us spread the word. If you mention this on your blog send me a message letting me know and I will post your button on my page. God Bless!

In case you don't know I live in Alabama, and was very close to the distruction of the F5 tornadoes that tore through our state on Wednesday of last week. What they are now calling "April's Fury". My family was one of the lucky ones. Unlike many other families we had very little damage. We are just now  getting our power back on. Thus the reason I haven't posted for the last several days.

They are telling the people who are wanting to help not to drive into the disaster areas, but to join an organazation or find a donation box. So I figured along with those suggestions I would also use the power of my blog to try and help those that are suffering from this disaster.

There were more than 300 killed and more than 400 still missing. These tornadoes were the largest, deadliest, longest on the ground, and the most torandoes in one state to break out in U.S. history. It's really heart breaking. There are so many stories of children ripped right from their mothers arms or babies that survived the storm but their parents are no where to be found. It's horrible. Not only have these people lost everything they have but they have lost loved ones in the process.

I know with the economy the way it is it's hard to find any extra money at all, but please dig down deap and see what you can do. Even if you have some non-parishable items in your pantry that you don't need or maybe you have some clothes in your closet that don't fit. You don't understand what little things like that mean to those who have lost everything.

I am going to give a list of website where you can go to help these victims. Again I am asking you to look deep within and ask yourself "What if it was me?" "What if it was my family?" "What if it was my town?"

We as American people need to come together in a time like this and help one another.
God Bless You! And may God be with the victims of this horrific disaster.

Whether you are able to DONATE or not PLEASE REPOST this on your Blog, Facebook, Twitter(etc.) and help us spread the word.

Here's How You Can HELP.........

United Way of West Alabama - DONATE

The boots on the ground in the devastated Tuscaloosa area, the United Way is accepting donations of all types that they will then distribute to the immediate victims. You can donate non-perishable food, clothes, tarps, and of course, cash, -- 100% of which, they say, will stay in the West Alabama area. Donate online or over the phone by calling 205-345-6640.

The American Red Cross - DONATE

The Red Cross remains a leader in disaster relief, having opened more than 40 emergency shelters across the hardest-hit states. They've served more than 250,000 meals to those impacted by the twisters and distributed 22,000 items like clean-up supplies across the area. You can follow their progress on their blog and donate through their website or via text message by sending "REDCROSS" to 90999 to give $10.

Feeding America - DONATE

This hunger-relief charity has stepped up their mission to bring food and water into the affected towns. They work with local food banks to coordinate donations and distribute food. You can donate through Feeding America's website to bring ready-to-eat meals and clean water to people devastated by the storms.

Salvation Army - DONATE

Another steadfast relief leader, the Salvation Army has committed at least 10 mobile food trucks to the Alabama, Lousiana and Mississippi with another 22 that are on standby. You can keep up with the charity's progress on their blog and submit a donation online or by texting “GIVE” to 80888 to donate $10.

Convoy of Hope - DONATE

This outreach organization has donated more than 3,000 hours of service since last week, helping victims with cleanup and feeding them. They set up two distribution sites in western Alabama to give out food, water and supplies to those in need. They are accepting online donations to help further their mission in Alabama.

Serve Alabama - DONATE

This hyper-local initiative promotes community service and volunteerism throughout the state of Alabama and has served as a portal for information for those affected by the storms and tornadoes. Through their website they are taking donations of goods and money that will be put toward the Governor's Emergency Relief Fund.

Photos of the devestation in Alabama

                                        Above is a whole town that was wiped out.

                                        Above is a man holding what is left of his families picture album.

             Above is where a house used to stand. There was nothing left but a concrete slab.

                                        Above was an appartment complex.

                                       Above is a family thankful to be alive.

Above are college students at the University of Alabama Searching for anything left.