Monday, May 09, 2011

Rebuilding Alabama

I don't know how many people this blog will reach due to the fact that I haven't written on here in forever! I decided though that it was worth a try.

I have always been proud to be an Alabamian. I remember thinking as a small child that Alabama was the center of the world and that everyone who didn't live here wanted to. As I grew I realized that a great deal of the world saw us all as a bunch of back woods hicks, who are all poor, and uneducated. I have taken great pride as I grew introducing people around the world to what great things Alabama has to offer and most importantly what great people Alabama has to offer. We have definitely educated the world on that fact in the past couple of weeks. I have never been more proud of Alabama. Many people have given and received unimaginable acts of kindness and love. Also, people from all over the world have reached out to help us. (including people like Japan who are still recovering from their own natural disaster) This restores my faith in humanity, and continues to bring tears to my eyes on a daily basis.

From the beginning my biggest fear in all this is that even in our own communities life would go back to normal and these people would be forgotten. My goal is to help to make sure they are not forgotten and that they will continue to need help for a long time to come. I have been fortunate enough to have some free time to help. I have been to some of these recovery centers, and it is amazing what these people are doing. Massive amounts of donations are coming in on a daily basis. Some of these centers have way more donations than they can handle. This made me begin to think about ways to help in the future, especially since many of the immediate essentials are taken care of. I was listening to Leland Live on the radio the other day, (they have done a fabulous job of helping get the word out about needs of the communities affected) and a man came on talking about setting up a website for collecting books and money to give the the 15 schools affected by these storms. I wanted to help them for many reasons. 1. I love to read and thought about the joy I felt getting a new book from the library as a child. 2. I thought about these children going back to school in a few short months. They may feel like things are starting to get back to normal and then might have a crushing realization that their school is not the same and doesn't have things they need. 3. At some point we have to stop focusing on these immediate essentials (food, water, and clothing) and begin to focus on rebuilding. Not merely putting things back to normal, but turning this all around and making things better for our children.

I have put out flyers like crazy, and posted on facebook like crazy, and have not had much response. I have started to question why? I am worried that it is because people are already forgetting. I hope that it is more that people think, "these people don't have a roof they don't need books." I understand that response, so I thought I would tell you my reasons for doing so maybe you might change your mind. They may not need books right now, but they will. When will you start focusing on rebuilding? I hope it's now.

Much love to everyone out there doing anything they can to help. All help is much appreciated and needed! Oh and check out the website if you want to help , or email me at