by Cass Brannan
These last two weeks have been quite a whirlwind here in Tuscaloosa. The areas that were hit by the tornado will literally never be the same. The pictures and videos that you see don’t do justice to the sheer amount of devastation. Homes, shops, restaurants, and some of our favorite little places in Tuscaloosa were taken away by the storm. It is truly unbelievable what happened in Tuscaloosa just two weeks ago.
Since the storm, it has truly been amazing to see hundreds and thousands of people rally together to help find people, clean-up and restore Tuscaloosa. One of the greatest things that I have seen is the number of churches that have rallied together to bring relief and aid to the city! The minute that this storm hit, there were no more divisions between denominations, color, style or size of church. The churches in Tuscaloosa have been working together to help in any way that they possibly can. There has been NO competition to what other churches are doing, but rather an understanding that if your church is doing something well, then we will send that stuff, or the people to that church.
Where one church decided to focus on clothing, another is focusing on feeding volunteers. Another church has become a hub for volunteers to report to, while another has become a receiving/distribution center for those who were hit by the storm! My church is providing emergency child care for those who were affected by the storm, or for those who are serving in the community! Convoy of Hope has also partnered with our church to hand out supplies to families in need! Also, our church, as well as several others, is adopting families to get them back on their feet after the storm. Churches all over the city have been working endless hours to love on, care for, and sometimes give a shoulder to cry on.
This is how the Church is supposed to work!
This is how the Church should always work!
The city of Tuscaloosa and surrounding areas have a long way to go, but one thing is for sure—if the churches in this community will continue to be the Church and work together, the road will be easier to travel!
How Can I Partner with Calvary?
How to Adopt Your Own Hope Family
As an organization or individual, you can adopt your own Hope Family. Our minister of education and administration, Tim Plant, can connect you with a local church who has families in need. A complete adoption costs approximately $5,000. This amount covers the complete set-up of their household and monetary needs they will have in order to make their transition (first month’s rent, etc.). Contact Tim Plant at (205) 792-4032 to connect with a family.
If you can’t adopt an entire family, you can still give to our Tornado Relief Fund. Your money will be pooled with other gifts and be used for the same purpose.
How to Donate to Our Tornado Relief Efforts
Monetary gifts support long-term solutions—to which Calvary is committed! Every penny given to our Tornado Relief Fund will be used to meet needs in our community. You can mail a check designated for our “Tornado Relief Fund” (1121 Paul W. Bryant Dr., Tuscaloosa, AL 35401) or give online through our homepage.
Volunteer to Help Deliver Furniture to Hope Families
As the count on our Hope Families rises, so does our need for furniture delivery crews! If you have a trailer (14-foot, open is best) you can volunteer, please call Billy Hatmaker at (205) 561-7164.
Additional Ways to Help
While needs are constantly changing as the recovery stages advance, many churches in tornado-ravaged communities are coordinating their efforts. Additional avenues for volunteering and donating follow:
University Church of Christ – www.universitycofc.org
University’s website is updated regularly with specific needs from the community, as well as information for people seeking to volunteer. As reported on their website:
Donations for tornado relief may be sent to: University Church of Christ c/o Tornado Relief Fund 1200 Julia Tutwiler Dr. Tuscaloosa, AL 35404
For information, you may call the church at 205-553-3001.
Churches of Christ Disaster Relief Team is coordinating volunteer efforts. To volunteer, please register at www.churchesofchristdrt.org
Valley View Baptist Church Tuscaloosa – www.valleyviewtuscaloosa.com
Among additional efforts, Valley View is accepting backpacks filled with school supplies for area children. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Capstone Church – www.capstonechurch.org
On their website, Capstone provides a number of ways to connect, volunteer and donate to the tornado relief efforts. Specifically, they are accepting gift cards in the increments of $25 and $50 to Walmart, Target, Home Depot, Publix, Piggly Wiggly, Dollar General, etc. Capstone is also collecting home goods such as linens, dishes, utensils, toasters, glasses, etc. For more information, contact Amy Smith at: email@example.com. Or follow them on Twitter.com at: @capstonechurch.
Photos taken by Reggie Joiner.