Posted by: twistsoffeet | May 18, 2011

A Community Comes Together

I am certain that everyone has heard about the devastating tornadoes that hit the south a couple of weeks ago.

Today, I unknowingly rode into an area that was hit hard, and tomorrow my route will take me deeper into the devastation. I am in Barnesville, GA, and although I had heard of the tornadoes Tuscaloosa, AL they received (deservedly) the greatest amount of press.  The Church of the Nazarene, where I have pitched my tent tonight, is a relief center where people from all over drop off supplies,and then those who need those supplies of clothing or food or whatever they may need can come and pick them up.

I am amazed by the outpouring of generosity by those that are able to give too help others.  Individual people and businesses have given selflessly.  The Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints (Mormons) have contributed massive amounts of food, cooking supplies, and cleaning supplies, so that those affected by this tragedy are somehow able to manage a little better.

I was able to speak to Veronica, Geri, and a couple of other women who told me about those who gave selflessly to help others.  Both of these women and others are volunteering at the collection/distribution center.  ,I met a woman from Griffin, where I will ride tomorrow, who works with human services and is directly involved in disaster relief.  After speaking to these women, I can tell you that in Barnesville, where I am,  one hundred homes were affected, either totally destroyed or will have to be condemned.  In Griffin, over 117 homes are now missing– totally destroyed.  More than a hundred others will be condemned and over two hundred others were severely damaged, but possibly salvageable.

I am concerned about riding through this area because I do not want to just be in the way.  However, there is not much of a viable alternative at this point.

Both of these communities are fairly small, and in an area that has already seen enough hardship due to the current economic situation.  But then… many areas have been hurt economically in the last few years.  Yet, even in these communities where many people are already struggling, when the need arises due to a disaster, the community comes together.  The response by the local community is, in my mind, overwhelming.  They are doing all they can to help those in need.

I was told that most of those whose homes were damaged or destroyed had no insurance coverage.  So, I ask that if anyone who reads this and is able to help as an individual or a group, to help these people once again get a roof over their head.  Whether it is through donations or fund raisers or any other way, to help them.  They need the help, and I for one would be grateful.

I would suggest contacting different disaster relief agencies and asking the best way to help.

Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance: Georgia

Georgia Baptist Disaster Relief

North Georgia Conference Disaster Relief

North Georgia Disaster Relief Team


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