There are events that occur and, in an instant, take precedence over any other issue or personality that was occupying our minds and our conversations just a moment earlier. Such is the case with the tragedy that we saw unfold on our television screens this week as tornadoes devastated the landscape in several southern states. Or, maybe you did not need a television to see the storms because you were right in the middle of it. On, Wednesday night, I was within 50 miles of the worst devastation as my wife and son had traveled to my wife’s home town in South Alabama to celebrate her uncle’s 80th birthday.
News reports are now putting the death toll from Wednesday’s tornadoes at close to 300, with that number expected to rise. Alabama was the state hardest hit, with more than 200 of its residents perishing when the winds came tearing through. If you have seen any of the videos that have gone viral showing the tornado that hit Tuscaloosa, the casualties are sadly understandable.
Once the shock of those images settle, the next step is to ask what we can do to help. My first instinct, I’m sure just like it is for many of you, is to drive to those who have been affected and start cleaning up, offer supplies, or simply provide an ear for someone who needs to tell their personal experience with the storm. And, maybe there will be the opportunity to do all of those things.
There, of course, are wonderful organizations like the Red Cross that can always use our donations and I am certain that many local communities from Alabama to California will be organizing their own ways to help those who need it.
We should give back and make a difference where we live whenever the opportunity presents itself, and there is opportunity here. What can you share with the rest of us about ways you have heard that are available to help the victims of the tornadoes? If you are in one of the areas that experienced the destruction, what do you need?