Challenge to Donate for Your Neighbors-Tornado Victims

Alabama Based Company Donates to Neighbors for Tornado Relief and Challenges Like Minded Business to Do the Same

The New York Yankees give $500,000 to the tornado relief efforts, Charlie Sheen visits Tuscaloosa, Alabama, thousands of faith based organizations like Samaritan’s Purse onsite in hard hit areas, and even a nationally recognized football rivalry bands together “Toomer’s for Tuscaloosa” to bring aid, support, and hope to the thousands who were affected by the tornados that ravished the south last week. Oftentimes natural disasters cause us all to take a closer look at our blessings around us. We may hug our loved ones a little tighter, smell the roses a little longer, and take a moment to truly be thankful for our good fortune. The strand of tornados that came through seven states on April 27th and 28th, have forever changed the landscape of neighborhoods and towns across the southeast.

Google before and after aerial photos show the massive devastation. The deadliest outbreak of tornados in decades, this storm produced over 150 tornados with a reported 270+ death toll and rising as rescue efforts continue. At the center of so much loss we find people – dads who coach their kid’s baseball team, moms who run carpool, parents with children in college, retired folks who read the paper every morning while eating breakfast. People whose lives will forever be altered by “the Storm of 2011”.

One mom in Wetumpka, Alabama (suburb of Montgomery), was able to talk with her daughter in her last minutes. Ashley Mims of Wetumpka, mother of Loryn Mims, was on the phone with her when Loryn said, “Mom, I’m scared.” Ashley was able to quickly reassure her daughter that everything would be ok right before the phone went dead. Shannon Mims (father) and Loryn’s grandfather went directly to Tuscaloosa, and after clearing away debris, found Loryn along with her two roommates in the home all dead.

After securing his patients at the hospital for safety in a room with walls to withstand radiation force,Dr. David Hinton of Tuscaloosa, oncologist, realized the tornado reported to hit his hometown was heading straight for his son’s home in a nearby neighborhood. Thinking only about the safety of his son and family, Dr. Hinton frantically got into his truck with the tornado in plain view and drove to his son’s home. Shocked at the total loss and devastation, Dr. Hinton rushed on foot to where he thought his son’s home was. With all the debris and destruction, it was hard to know for sure. Son, Dennis Hinton, had made his way out of the toppled home and saw his dad. What a reunion!

Michael Dunn is hugged by his mother Patricia Dunn as they stand in the road that lead to his house which was completely destroyed after a tornado touched down on April 27, 2011 in Concord, Alabama.

 

 

 

A home destroyed from the Silver Hills Golf Course Community (near Montgomery, Alabama). It belonged to a close proximity neighbor of a SmarterServices employee’s family member.

 

 

In the south we are known for our hospitality, and seeing the thousands of volunteers to assist in the cleanup efforts is not surprising. Eighteen wheelers loaded down with supplies have come into the affected areas from small town school efforts, local churches, and civic groups willing to help. Truck loads of manpower, generators, and chainsaws have been spotted heading up I-65 to help those in need. Caravans of electric cooperative personnel, law enforcement, and fire fighters were on the road in the wee morning hours of April 28th. As towns, cities, schools, and neighborhoods begin to clean up and salvage what goods they can, we must ask ourselves, who is our neighbor? Many neighboring states were hit – seven total. Some folks lost their physical neighbors – those who lived across the street, those who lived next door. Where are your neighbors?

Although not directly affected by the storms in terms of loss of life or property, SmarterServices™, an Alabama based company, has given to help our neighbors with a donation to the American Red Crossand challenge those around the country to give as well. An educational company specializing in distance learning tools and software, SmarterServices is challenging all like minded businesses and organizations to donate to the rebuilding effort. Help restore hope for the families that have lost property, possessions, and life. Your donations will provide a warm meal, building supplies, comfort, and promise to your neighbors who need it most. We’d like to keep a record of all companies who donate and a list of the recipient charities. Please email julie@smarterservices.com with your company name and charity. We’ll be highlighting the companies in an upcoming blog post and newsletter. Some suggested organizations to donate to are American Red CrossSalvation ArmySamaritan’s Purse,Alabama Governor’s Emergency Relief Fund, and Help Tuscaloosa Schools.