EAMC’s Mend Foundation focusing on immediate needs and recovery for tornado victims

Local News

LEE COUNTY, Ala. (WRBL) –  East Alabama Medical Center’s mission to help Lee County tornado victims recover is a personal quest in honor of a beloved nurse who died in the storm. Tuesday, EAMC shared the Mend Foundations’ short-term goals, long-term goals, and donation transparency.

EAMC’s Mend Foundation is dedicated to helping storm victims with immediate and long-term needs. Mend was created in honor of Maggie Robinson, a beloved EAMC nurse who perished in the March 3rd tornado in Beauregard.   
   
“Be like Maggie” buttons are worn by several EAMC employees as a heartfelt reminder of EAMC’s Mend mission.  

“EAMC has resources staff and the facilities, we are the first place people turn to in an Emergency Situation. We are a family, and we lost one of our own Maggie Robinson and to honor Maggie, we can up with the idea of Mend,” shared Laura Eason Director of Pastoral Care at EAMC and Mend Coordinator.

For more than a decade EAMC has provided disaster relief nationally and globally. March 3rd, the hospital’s relief efforts came home when a devastating EF-4 tornado left 23 dead and widespread destruction. It’s the worst natural disaster in Lee County history.  
     
Brenda Hugley, her husband, and daughter survived the EF-4 tornado at their Lee Road 39 home by sheltering in a closet.
     
“It was a disaster. When we opened the door everything was gone,” Hugley remembers.
 
Hugley is one of 15 families EAMC is housing for free in a fully furnished apartment stocked with kitchen appliances, food, linen, and toiletries.   When families can move on, they keep everything.

“We didn’t bring clothes or nothing, we just walked in, and everything was ready, and the best part is you get to take everything with you. It’s a Blessing. It’s a new life,” shared Hugley.
 
A new life for every victim is the goal
     
So far EAMC’s Mend Foundation has raised a total of $283,000 in donations.  Breaking down the numbers, that’s about $89,000 in private contributions in addition to $184,000 from the Porch Creek Indians and $10,000 from Demarcus Ware for funeral expenses and headstones for the 23 lives lost.  Around $73,000 is paying for free housing for 15 families, and EAMC hopes to ready more apartments for families in need. The Mend Foundation has a little less than $15,000 left but is expecting more donations.

“We’d also like to make it known that 100% of our donations are staying local in the community and there is no overhead involved. We have a unique structure here with our foundation employees are paid by the hospital because many of us work with Mend along with our other roles at the hospital,” shared Dennis Thrasher, Vice-President and EAMC Controller.

EAMC promises full transparency with how donations are being spent. They are anticipating a four-year recovery period for Lee County storm victims,  saying EAMC will be beside them every step of the way.
     
EAMC is also focusing on long term recovery. The hospital just partnered with The Fuller Center to build three new homes for storm victims in the Beauregard area. They hope to have the homes completed at the end of this month.

LEE COUNTY, Ala. (WRBL) –  East Alabama Medical Center’s mission to help Lee County tornado victims recover is a personal quest in honor of a beloved nurse who died in the storm.

Tuesday, EAMC shared the Mend Foundations’ short-term goals, long-term goals, and donation transparency.

EAMC’s Mend Foundation is dedicated to helping storm victims with immediate and long-term needs. Mend was created in honor of Maggie Robinson, a beloved EAMC nurse who perished in the March 3rd tornado in Beauregard.  

“Be like Maggie” buttons are worn by several EAMC employees as a heartfelt reminder of EAMC’s Mend mission.  

“EAMC has resources staff and the facilities, we are the first place people turn to in an Emergency Situation. We are a family, and we lost one of our own Maggie Robinson and to honor Maggie, we can up with the idea of Mend,” shared Laura Eason Director of Pastoral Care at EAMC and Mend Coordinator.

For more than a decade EAMC has provided disaster relief nationally and globally. March 3rd, the hospital’s relief efforts came home when a devastating EF-4 tornado left 23 dead and widespread destruction. It’s the worst natural disaster in Lee County history.  

Brenda Hugley, her husband, and daughter survived the EF-4 tornado at their Lee Road 39 home by sheltering in a closet.

“It was a disaster. When we opened the door everything was gone,” Hugley remembers.

Hugley is one of 15 families EAMC is housing for free in a fully furnished apartment stocked with kitchen appliances, food, linen, and toiletries.   When families can move on, they keep everything.

“We didn’t bring clothes or nothing, we just walked in, and everything was ready, and the best part is you get to take everything with you. It’s a Blessing. It’s a new life,” shared Hugley.
 

Mend: Rebuilding Lee County one life at a time
     
So far the Mend Foundation has raised a total of $283,000 in donations.  Breaking down the numbers, that’s about $89,000 in private contributions in addition to $184,000 from the Porch Creek Indians and $10,000 from Demarcus Ware for funeral expenses and headstones for the 23 lives lost.  Around $73,000 is paying for free housing for 15 families, and EAMC hopes to ready more apartments for families in need. The Mend Foundation has a little less than $15,000 left but is expecting more donations.

“We’d also like to make it known that 100% of our donations are staying local in the community and there is no overhead involved. We have a unique structure here with our foundation employees are paid by the hospital because many of us work with Mend along with our other roles at the hospital,” shared Dennis Thrasher, Vice-President and EAMC Controller.

EAMC promises full transparency with how donations are being spent. They are anticipating a four-year recovery period for Lee County storm victims,  saying EAMC will be beside them every step of the way.

EAMC is also focusing on long term recovery. The hospital just partnered with The Fuller Center to build three new homes for storm victims in the Beauregard area. They hope to have the homes completed at the end of this month.

Click here to make a donation or for more information on services provided by EAMC Mend Foundation.

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