As my part of Minnesota hunkered down in preparation for the first major snowstorm of the season, other parts of the country went about their day with no great urgency or fear. We woke up to snow. They woke up to disaster.
A historic tornado outbreak struck across the Midwest and Southeast parts of the country this week leaving dozens dead, hundreds injured and thousands without shelter or possessions. Particularly hard hit were the states of Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee and Kentucky. Every single person touched by these tornadoes is now part of a club that we in St. Peter know only too well….tornado survivors.
We know what they are going through…shell shock, glazed eyes, unable to comprehend the complete devastation they see before them and unable to believe they will ever get through it. But get through it they will. They’ll come together in their community as volunteers from all over the country roll in to help. They will dig deep to find the strength of will necessary to get through the initial horror and move on to the rebuilding stage. They will discover more resilience than they ever thought possible. We know because we lived it.
After the tornado in Saint Peter experts said it would take five years to rebuild but rebuilding is not the same as returning to normal. Normal is what so many people long for after a disaster changes their world and yet it will never be normal for them again. What these people lived through has forever changed them and there is no going back to normal, but they can be better than before with our help.
In this time of need please do what you can to help those who have lost everything. Be like the angels who descended on St. Peter with willing hands, strong backs, money, and donations of all kinds…food, water, warm clothing, basic hygiene supplies, portable phone chargers (remember there is no power in these areas now); pet supplies and books and toys for the children who won’t get Christmas this year.
Please do what you can to be the angel they need as so many were to us after our tornado and help them start the journey to their new normal.
Thank you all!