Weathering the storm together

Published 5:56 am Tuesday, April 6, 2021

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With homes destroyed and trees laying across roads and crumpled on top of homes, cars and powerlines, many lives changed on Thursday, March 25.

As you drive down Alabama 119, Mardis Ferry Road, Shelby County 47, Shelby County 41 and U.S. 280, it still breaks your heart to see the destruction created from two EF3 tornadoes.

But if you look past the devastation, you can spot something good. Behind the fallen trees, there is a person with a chainsaw. Next to the powerlines, there is a utility person. In the front yard, there is a person with a bag full of donations. And just down the road, there is a team of volunteers collecting items from hundreds of neighbors.

Through all the debris left behind, picking up the pieces has created hope for many as we weather the storm together.

Whether someone lost just a little bit or everything, communities have come together to support one another.

The communities of Calera, Columbiana, Helena, Indian Springs, Oak Mountain, Pelham and other areas in north Shelby County were the hardest hit, but many from across the county have offered a helping hand.

Donation sites were immediately set up on Friday morning, and before the day ended, most had to stop taking donations because of the outpouring of support from so many.

That’s humanity at its finest.

So often, we find ourselves arguing and debating, even with those in our own community.

But when something devastating happens, we show up together in droves to help.

Following the two violent tornadoes, we saw the best in people, and we’ve seen many say that is something that has to continue. Not just in helping the victims of the storms over the next several months, but in being there for our neighbors every day through acts of kindness.

It was refreshing to see Facebook groups created to share ways to help rather than people screaming at each other in neighborhood watch groups. It was invigorating to see people in yards helping others, rather than honking their horns from their cars for people to move their stuff out of the way. And it was inspiring to see people who had never met helping those in need, rather than turning a blind eye.

March 25 turned many lives upside down.

Despite this, many have felt hope and have even been brought to tears by the generosity across Shelby County because of the thoughtfulness shown to them by strangers.

Let’s not wait for the next tragedy to happen to continue that trend.