There are things that bring out the worst in people. A death in the family, bad economic times, a two-and-half-week-long headache, a stressful job. People get irritated by one another and are not so kind. We say things we don’t mean. Or maybe we mean them at the time but we change our mind later or, at the very least, we regret them.
There are days that just bring out the “me” in us. Those are the every days. The plain old days. Nothing spectacular happens and nothing spectacular is done. We get up, go to work, go home. We manage our own affairs and just don’t even think about someone else’s stuff. Not in a bad way. Just in a way. It’s how we muddle through the day to day.
Then there are the events that show us the best in people. The heart of our people. I really like to think that the best is what is the “real” in people. But then, I’ve recently been called Pollyanna. And I’ve got things pretty good.
It’s probably easy for me to feel the blessings in people rallying together to help the victims of the April 27th Tornado. While I saw the front of the storm with debris all the way from Tuscaloosa falling in my driveway, I was miles away from the violence of the storm. Only a few miles, and that was too close for comfort, but a lot of folks have lost way more than comfort. I have power and a place to rest my head. I haven’t missed a hot shower or hot meal this week. So, maybe it’s a bit easier for me to be so Pollyanna. Still, I am amazed to see the outpouring.
I have male friends from Church who are already offering hands, backs, trucks, chainsaws, etc. in the Birmingham area. I am so blessed, honored and proud to know these good strong men. They always do the right thing and it is my impression that it never occurs to them that they could choose not to do so. God shows me them and I know there is hope.
I have Facebook friends posting information about where we can donate our time, money and goods. Other Facebook friends are offering up prayers for family and friends of their family and friends. Folks I merely know as acquaintances, a friend of a friend, are rallying for folks they’ve never even met. God shows me this and I know there is hope.
I have real life friends that have rallied too. They are heading out to help a friend in dire straits. Those in the position are organizing larger outreach events, like fundraisers and canned good drives. Others are perched and ready to head back to Alabama the minute the “all clear” from officials to travel to these areas is given. My peeps have offered up spare generators, trucks, and warm showers. I have a friend who will take in someone any day of the week if he sees they are in need. He offers up the same kind heart today. Others are praying like crazy for the souls of the over 200 who lost their lives, for their families and friends they left behind and those who (just) lost power or the ones who lost their homes. God works through all of them and I know there is hope.
When you see a mile-and-a-half wide tornado tear through major cities like a two year old through a house of cards you feel helpless. I’m telling you that you do. If there had been a military attack on Tuscaloosa we would have called out the troops and they would have handled things. When you see that storm heading toward you can do nothing. You can’t fight back. You can’t stop it. You can run. You can hide. You can cry. You can pray. And when it’s all over you can hope. You can offer hope. You can be hope. You can live hope.
Seeing the effect of this violent storm I feel helpless. I’m telling you that I do. My folks are the “troops” headed out to help in anyway they can. But I feel like I can do nothing. I doubt I can show up to these demolished communities and clear away the rubble. I guess I can donate canned goods, water and coffee. God, that just doesn’t seem like enough. It seems like almost nothing. But maybe it’s something to someone who lost everything. I hope so.
1. If anyone needs tree removal help call Joe Vann 205/807/2324 Vann Construction.
2. OLS Church at 1720 Oxmoor Road in Homewood is mobilizing efforts to help the tornado victims. If you can donate ready to eat items, personal hygiene items, clothes or water, please come to the OLS parking deck Friday, Saturday or Sunday at 10am.If you have a truck/trailer, chain saw or strong back come to help with distribution at noon. God Bless!
3. Looks like Hands On Birmingham’s site is down right now. I was there earlier and it was good. They are heading up efforts, so please check back with them. Hopefully they will have their site back up and running soon.
3600 8th Avenue South
Birmingham, AL 35222
4. Academy Sports on highway 150 is collecting donations of basic supply toothbrushes diapers water, or whatever you can bring.
5. The Nick will be doing a benefit soon for a former employee, please keep an eye out for it. If you are not a facebook friend of the Nick please sign up for details of the benefit. Thenickrocks
6. Everyone is saying NO CLOTHING. Take your clothing donations to Salvation Army, like normal. Food, coffee, water, diapers and moist towelettes seem to be at the top of everyone’s list. The Red Cross is taking monetary donations but these other efforts are trying to get goods to the people. Cut out the red tape and buy items to donate.
7. Add any other efforts in the comment section, if you’d like.
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