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People helping more than FEMA

On Memorial Day, I got a chance to sit down and listen to my cousins talk about the tornado recovery efforts going on in Phil Campbell.
Just to give you some background on them, they pastor a church in Phil Campbell. Their church parsonage and the church building itself were obliterated by the EF5 tornado that carved a more than 100-mile path across north Alabama. And I do mean obliterated. All that’s left of the church building is the slab that the four walls and roof sat on.
What I am hearing is that ordinary people are giving much more help to storm victims than agencies such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
When you get right down to it, it’s been the private donations of churches, non-profit organizations and other individuals who have helped the recovery process more than any government organization.
Over the last month, we’ve published announcements for groups who have been running food drives, gift card drives and other donations to help storm victims.
The Hartselle Jr. High School eighth grade class chose to hold a fundraiser for tornado victims instead of having its annual school picnic. Robyn Corum held a drive to collect gift cards for storm victims. Those were later donated to the EMA to be distributed to storm victims.
On Saturday, the Hartselle High School Athletics held a sporting goods drive for storm victims.
This is just a small sampling of those who have helped. There’s not enough space to mention everything that’s been done.
In each case, everyone was asking what they could do to help – whether it was to volunteer their time or to do a fundraiser instead of having their typical fun day.
I’d like to applaud everyone who did something to help with the recovery efforts. It’s amazing what can happen when people work together for good.
Brent Maze is the managing editor of the Hartselle Enquirer.