Good to see locals help victimsBy Staff Reports Published 6:41pm Friday, May 6, 2011
The entire state of Alabama watched in horror last week as powerful tornadoes tore through Tuscaloosa, Birmingham and too many small towns to name.
Perhaps even more disconcerting was the realization over the next few days of just how extensive the damage was and what kind of extended effort it would take to recover and rebuild.
The need is still great in many areas. As destructive as this line of storms has turned out to be, one of the encouraging aspects of the disaster is how fellow Alabamians—and people from all over the world—have come together to help those affected by the tornadoes during their time of need.
Chilton County has certainly not been an exception. Many local organizations and individuals have done remarkable work in providing aid to the storm victims:
•Clanton Elementary School is sponsoring a book drive to collect children’s reading material for two Tuscaloosa elementary schools that lost their libraries in the tornado. The drive has collected more than 200 books already.
•Chilton County United Way partnered with the American Red Cross to accept monetary donations at a local office. Other donation centers included many local churches.
•Tyler Mims, local paramedic and captain of East Chilton Fire and Rescue, along with his wife and other East Chilton firefighters, organized a community yard sale to suport those in need.
•Police officers with the Clanton and Jemison departments and Chilton County Sheriff’s deputies worked on scheduled off days in areas of need, handling tasks like providing escorts, closing roads, directing traffic and guarding donation sites that local officers could work searches and rescues.
•Members of the Chilton County Emergency Management Agency and Chilton County Rescue Squad provided assistance to areas in need. Local EMA Director Bill Collum provided logistical support, and the Rescue Squad delivered power generators and large lights to help get a gas station up and running so Cordova residents could purchase fuel.
There have surely been other efforts that weren’t listed here, and they are appreciated just as much. We’re proud Chilton County has been so willing to help.
We may have narrowly escaped danger—the only confirmed tornado in the county injured no one—but we’re not shying away from our responsibility to our neighbors.