In the midst of the chaos that existed after the April 27 tornado outbreak in 2011, the
south Huntsville community stepped forward to help in the most effective ways possible.
After determining which areas which had the greatest need and were receiving little help
at the time, a relief effort was organized by South Huntsville Civic Association (SHCA).
With an out pouring of donations from the community, trailers were filled and thousands of relief items, were gathered in a two day period. Volunteers gathered and these groups took to the road with the trailer full of relief items, chain saws, rakes, hammers and care. You see, while we love our own community, we also love our neighbors and are here to help when others are facing times of need.
These trips were touching both for those who contributed to the efforts and for those who we were able to assist. The white haired gentleman in the photo below was a tornado victim. Our caravan happened past his home on one of these trips. He and his wife were alone and had only the saw you see him holding. It was only this tool and his own strength that this gentleman had to work with. The chore ahead of him was that of removing 3 fallen trees from his home and barn where the family pets had been trapped for days.
A true sense of joy existed on that day in the aftermath of so many tragic losses. The joy of the couple in need, seeing a small army of men, women and teenagers arrive unexpectedly, asking nothing more than, "What can we do to help?" was apparent. The joy of those who were in the relief party was unforgettable. As did many others on these trips, this couple, gave our community the opportunity to touch their lives.
A strong sense of community is planted in ones own backyard. With regular care, its vines will reach beyond borders.
Oh, and in case you wondered, yes, we did free their pets!
Jeannee C. Gannuch
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