News headlines have been filled with coverage of yet another disastrous week of tornados striking throughout the South and Midwest.
One of the first communities to suffer the devastation of these storms was Shoal Creek Valley, Ala.
Shoal Creek Valley was hit by an E4 tornado on April 27. According to the National Weather Service classification scale, an E4 tornado is a, “devastating tornado” with winds up to 260 miles per hour, and has the ability to flatten houses to their foundations. The tornado that struck Shoal Creek Valley was over 1.25 miles wide and left a swath of destruction nearly 72 miles long. The loss of human life that day in Alabama was 236, and according to the Red Cross over 14,000 homes were destroyed or heavily damaged. The term “tragic” is so often bandied about that we fail to grasp the true scope and depth of the word, but it is certainly a word that applies to the events of April 27 in the small community of Shoal Creek Valley.
It is has now become our rote response to say “There is nothing I can do.” as the harrowing events of the modern world seem to constantly vie for our time, emotions and money. Tragedy is everyday news, and it is reasonable for us to feel overwhelmed isn’t it? Perhaps though, it is more overwhelming to do nothing, the gnawing feeling of helplessness ever present, and not easily assuaged. The remedy … help. Help in any way that you can, whether it be for this cause or others. The accumulation of “little and often” and “many hands make light work ”does really make a difference. Shoal Creek Valley is just a little dot on a very big map, not unlike Pagosa Springs, and they need our help. As a community we have had our struggles, and the tough times we have come through and are still going through make it challenging to give, but in light of the devastation in Shoal Creek Valley and other little towns like it, we are very, very blessed. After the storms of April 27 Shoal Creek Valley is left to literally put itself back together again piece by piece. Rebuilding this community will take a long time, considerable funds, and tremendous manpower.
Grace Church along with members of our community will be sending a team of skilled and un-skilled laborers to Alabama to clean up,and rebuild what was lost on that disastrous day of April 27. You can support this restoration effort in many ways. Although sufficient building materials have been donated, it is the logistics of getting manpower to the state of Alabama, and the community of Shoal Creek that presents itself as the biggest need. Grace will be working towards raising $15,000 to mobilize a team of 35-40 people to go down to Alabama from June 19-29. These funds will go towards transportation needs for both workers and tools. There will be a special benefit concert on Saturday, June 4, at the Ross Aragon Community Center at 7 p.m. with all proceeds going towards these costs. The Jason Rose Band, According Two Today, Johnny K, and Natalie Oman will be featured artists as well as other performers also being added to the lineup. Look for further details for this concert in next week’s edition of The SUN.
For more information on how you can contribute and help put the little town of Shoal Creek Valley back on its feet by donating your time, finances, or prayer support, contact Grace Church at 731-6200 or at’firstname.lastname@example.org.