Seeing the generosity and the spirit of volunteerism in the city of Tuscaloosa has warmed my heart and restored my faith in mankind. I am so thankful that I was there for a few days to see it for myself!
Since the tornado, my family has had no, (or very limited), Internet access and they are busy rebuilding their lives so I want to tell these stories for them. I also need to tell them for myself so that I won't ever forget how good God was to my family to keep them from harm and to meet their needs.
Wednesday evening, several hours after the tornado, the sheriffs department finally got into the neighborhood and told everyone to leave.
This truck is just a few houses away from my sister's house.
Most people had to walk out of the neighborhood, (many were barefoot), because just about every car was destroyed. A few people were able to drive their damaged cars with windshields broken. There was so much debris, my sister said she didn't know how they got out of the neighborhood.
For three days after the tornado my sister,(Diane), and brother-in-law,(Jack), stayed with Jack's cousin, Lisa.
Lisa's mom and dad lived across the street from Diane and Jack and they also lost their home. Lisa had sixteen people in her home after the tornado. I was so relieved to know that Diane and Jack had a place to stay for a few days until they could find a place to live. I think Lisa is a saint for taking care of and feeding so many people in her home. She is my hero!
On Saturday, Jack's boss let them move in to an empty condo in a small condo community that he owns. Before they moved in the boss and his wife bought groceries for them and stocked their cabinets with food.
Someone let them borrow air mattresses and Jack's cousin gave them a kitchen table, but they had nothing else. The day that they took possession of the condo, the neighbors came bringing blankets, pillows and quilts. They were invited to a cookout at a neighbor's home. One neighbor offered to wash their clothes. All of the neighbors have been amazing to Diane and Jack, but there is a very special angel of mercy in their midst. Her name is Hannah and she is twenty-four years old.
She was the one having the cookout and she washed their clothes. On Monday, Diane and I were unpacking and cleaning some of their household items that were salvageable, Hannah showed up at the door and said she had a few things for them. She had been shopping. She had clothes, underwear, cookware, flatware, Rubbermaid food storage set, towels, hand towels, washcloths, dish towels- which she washed for them, t.v. antenna (with a purchased one year warranty), I'm sure there were other things that I can't remember. I was so overwhelmed by her generosity, especially at such a young age, I was in tears. She also invited us to supper.
That evening seven of us, (Diane, Jack, two friends who came from Dalton, GA, my husband, son and me), showed up at Hannah's home for supper, (two neighbors and two other people affected by the tornado were there too). She, her roommate and a friend served us chicken tetrazzini, salad, rolls, and a beautiful strawberry cake. The meal was delicious! She was so calm and treated us like family. She is quite the story teller and kept us laughing. It was a wonderful evening for all of us. Can you imagine a world filled with Hannahs? I'm sure you can see why Hannah is a personal hero to me. Don't you wish she was your neighbor?
I have one more personal hero to share with you, hopefully tomorrow.