Today I volunteered at the local mission, where the storm destruction—paired with the effects of this downward-spiraling economy—has really left resources tapped. Volunteer coordinators are even more overworked than usual.
Currently people are trying to get back into some sort of temporary home and they need what the mission is calling “start over kits” that have necessary items like toiletries and hygiene products. These items are harder to come by in way of donations, and the need will be growing even greater.
Today I met several people who had devastating stories to tell of lost and missing loved ones, homes ripped off their foundations, and surviving victims whose spirits have hit rock bottom. I talked to one man who lost five members of his family in one three-minute visit from the EF-4 tornado.
Another woman told me of a blessing in disguise: Her husband, who was away on business, called stranded with a flat tire two hours from home. If he hadn’t had the flat he would have been driving into town just as the tornado tore though.
Another family shared their story about huddling together in an interior closet as the storm tore away their home, and being left untouched. As I was listening to one of the stories, I was reminded of a few weeks before when I interviewed for a position at a senior facility located in Ringgold. I was not offered the job and at the time was disappointed. Now I realize that I too received a blessing in disguise, as the facility was leveled during the storm, and I would have been at work during the time that the storm passed. It’s times like that one that make me remember that, while I should always strive to be my best, sometime things won’t happen the way I planned, and often times that’s the best thing that I could ask for. I think this week as been a great example of just that.
I went into this week not knowing exactly what to expect or who I should help. But this opportunity has opened my eyes to such a need that, although I knew existed, was never clear how extreme the conditions are. I think I have learned more this week about my community than I have at any other time in my adult life. I hope that my journal has reflected what an emotional experience this has been for me.
So, I guess you are wondering where I’ve decided to allot my donation, and the truth is, I can’t choose just one. No really, I choose them all. I want to help everyone. I want to reach out to as many people as possible, and I’ve decided that the best way to do so is to donate 100% of my allotted donation to the Care Mission here in LaFayette, Georgia. The mission serves over 4000 families each year, and if the money donated can help them continue to serve for even one more day, I know that it will have helped many families, not just one. I hope that people will support our local mission as we work to support our sister cities during their time of need.
I am grateful to LearnVest for giving me the ability to contribute to this worthy cause and for helping me build a personal sense of community awareness and empathy for others.
If you would like to help the Care Mission as well, send your donation in the form of a check to the Care Mission: 105 North Chattanooga Street, LaFayette, GA 30728.
Read the rest of Emily's journal.
Day 1: Shock And Devastation
Day 2: Frustration And Disbelief
Day 3: Cross Paths
Day 4: Working Class
Day 5: When Life Gives You Lemons
Day 6: In Your Own Backyard