After the devastating tornadoes of April 27, the people of Sand Mountain got busy helping others and helping themselves. According to the Jackson/DeKalb Long-Term Recovery Committee (LTRC), Community Foundation support made a quick and meaningful difference in providing materials used by the families themselves and volunteers who came in to help.
The story of one Dekalb County family story inspired the whole community. They did not ask for help, said LTRC chair Tanya Rains, but “we went to them and asked if we could have the privilege of helping them. It was truly an honor for our committee to get the chance to serve this family and be a part of ensuring that they have a new home after the storm. They didn’t sit around for a moment after the storm. They instantly gathered themselves and began serving others and working to put the pieces of their life back together again. ‘
Another family working to rebuild their own home got help from volunteers and support for materials through Community Foundation donors. In turn, the father volunteered his skill at sheetrock finishing to help others in the community. Once again, gifts through the Community Foundation have helped one family, and what that family has given back is so much more.
A third family refused all offers of assistance for months after the storm, but case workers continued to check on their needs. On one of the hottest days in the summer of 2011, as they were all sitting on the newly completed front porch, a discussion of the weather led to the family expressing concerns about the cost of heating the house in the winter. With support from Community Foundation donors, the LTRC was able to install a more efficient system for both heating and air – a clear case of meeting the final need for a family after all other resources had been exhausted.
Families who have worked hard all year to recover from the April tornadoes now face the challenges of colder weather and a new year. Join us in helping with your gift to the Alabama Tornado Recovery Fund, which serves people across the state, or the Emergency Response Fund, focusing on tornado-related needs in the Birmingham region. Or find out more about our tornado recovery work.