As so many individuals and families traveled the long road to recovery after the devastating tornadoes of 2011, we have been touched by the stories of their challenges and their perseverance. We are touched, too, by the on-going work on our nonprofit partners, volunteers and donors, all working together to bring people home.
Last week’s ceremony for Vietnam veteran Arthur Jemison was special for a lot of people, because he received his key from Habitat for Humanity on Veteran’s Day. According to his daughter, who spoke with our Gus Heard-Hughes, this will be a special Thanksgiving as the extended family gathers in this new Pratt City home.
She expressed gratitude for the new home, but also for the life of her father, who may have been spared because he was at her home, helping because she had a broken arm, when the deadly storm hit. “My heart is so full,” she said. “You just don’t even know!”
The Community Foundation contribution came through a grant from the Bama Rising Fund, so it represents the support of so many musical artists and fans who made the Bama Rising benefit concert successful. The home also came to life in partnership with other funders and with so many volunteers, including a military unit, who gave their time to build the Jemison home, and with the direction of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Birmingham, which has been part of bringing so many tornado survivors back home.
At this Thanksgiving season, we say thank you again to all who joined us in making this happen. With your help, we can do it again and again!