East Alabama charity organizations on Sunday used their platform to help those impacted by the March third tornadoes. The local community leaders say they couldn’t sit back and do nothing after the storm ripped through a community they all know too well.
“This is really personal for me. This being in our home county. I’ve been down there with the people, I’ve been down there with the families that were affected and the experience I had when it comes to Rural Disaster Recovery is that it doesn’t take long to be forgotten about,“ Warren Tidwell with Rural Disaster Recovery Network said.
Sylvia Rose Novak says she spent five years of her life at her family farm on Lee co. road 40. She says her initial reaction was to organize an event to help families begin recovery.
“These people still have no home they have no savings, some of them have nothing left they have family members they had to bury and I want the community to remember these people during these times and that they still need our help and they still need our support as the year progresses,“ Novak said.
Novak was one of several artists to perform at the relief benefit. Aside from the live music, there were also local food trucks and businesses in the area that agreed to donate a portion of their proceeds to the relief effort. Henry Williford says he is overwhelmed with the amount of support lee county has to offer.
“Even when there’s so much destruction and tragedy right here and it’s so real I mean you can see it. You can see the houses torn apart you can see the families apart but what you can also see is the community responding,“ Williford said.
Tickets to the event were fifteen dollars. Admission was free for kids under the age of 12. All proceeds for ticket sales will be donated for families to start their recovery process.
Rural disaster recovery network is partnering with the nonprofit hometown action to oversee that the funds will benefit those directly effected by the storms. The rural disaster recovery network representative says with the money donated, he hopes to create small grants for the families in need, as well as continue coordinating with local agencies.