I spent my first sustained time since the tornadoes volunteering at Good Shepherd this afternoon and evening. I cooked a little bit. I also spent some time in the donations area—unloading from our generous community, and just generally helping to keep things running smoothly.
I quickly determined that there’s really no good reason for me not to be down there most days until the worst of this emergency has abated. Kind of funny how indefensible sitting around drinking beer and watching television suddenly is.
(Guess it always was, but call said indefensibility front-and-center now.)
Wow, it’s such an environment of extremes.
I’m not at all comfortable taking photographs. There are people having some of the worst days of their lives in every direction, and it just seems inconsiderate and disrespectful to stick a camera in their faces. As heartbreaking as their stories are, I also feel so proud of my church and my neighbors. There are people with the very best of the human race on display in every direction too.
To all who have donated—whether time, supplies, or both—thank you so much. Please don’t stop. We are still much closer to the beginning of this crisis than the end. There will be need for months to come. It’s such a cliché, but clichés tend to become such because they’re true: every little bit helps. I’m going to do what I can to keep a current list of the most acute needs up on Facebook and Twitter.
Good Shepherd is an official Red Cross emergency shelter, and operates both in that capacity and as a church doing its best to be a Christlike neighbor in a time of critical need. If you choose to donate at Good Shepherd, you can be assured of helping the community directly. If that’s not in your neighborhood, there are many other churches and local organizations doing good work as well.
Please, give serious thought to staying involved for some time. Alabama is hurting badly. Thank you.