Tornado Response to the April 27 Alabama Outbreak
It has been amazing to watch our ALCBF community organize after the unimaginable disaster that occurred in our state on April 27th. It is also so very amazing to talk to people all around the country who just want to be of some service to people in need here in Alabama.
We have identified four sites where we will stay until at least April 27, 2012 - the one year anniversary of the storm. Learn more about each site by clicking on the links below.
We have been able to rally around the community leaders of this neglected, poor community. Covenant Church in Elba, Crosscreek in Pelham, Shades Crest in Birmingham, Baptist Church of the Covenant in Birmingham, Riverchase in Hoover and Southside in Birmingham, as well as others, have all begun to rally around this community. Learn more.
We have discovered a poor, devastated community that is also trying to assess and develop a plan for next steps. Locust Grove Baptist Church in New Market has committed to partner with the folks at Lockhart, as well as First Baptist, Huntsville and Trinity Baptist in Madison. Learn more.
Rosedale is a poor community that was demolished in West Tuscaloosa. Calvary Baptist Church of Tuscaloosa has a plan for bringing restoration to the people of that community. University Baptist Church in Montevallo and Woodland Forest, Tuscaloosa are also connected with Rosedale. Learn more.
Webster's Chapel is the community next to First Baptist Church of Williams. They have been joined by Heritage Baptist Church in Heflin, Auburn First Baptist Church, First Baptist of Rome, Georgia, Vestavia Hills Baptist Church in Birmingham, and Mountain Brook Baptist Church in Birmingham, among other churches and folks. Learn more.
We are also partnering with Volunteers of America and have received help and encouragement from national CBF disaster response leadership.
We are not requesting any delivery of supplies at this time. This need may change, and we will notify folks when new needs arise.
We will be scheduling volunteer teams in the months ahead, but we are still working deliberately to determine our long-term steps with families in the four areas we have adopted. This is slow and unsure work right now. There is much to be done as folks wait...for FEMA...for insurance...for guidance as to whether to rebuild or to leave the community.
Contact Terri Byrd (email@example.com) if you would like to schedule a team to help. We can provide basic lodging at some church facilities. We do request your flexibilty as we determine where in the state and when we need to help. Please pray about willingness to be involved later, especially this fall and winter as needed, if there is not immediate work for your group.
If your church has a need and plan for relief, we feel your money is best used for an emergency at home. If you decide, or people within your congregation desire, to donate beyond your local projects, it would help us if they would make a check to your church marked for ALCBF disaster relief. Then the church can periodically send ALCBF a check of the accumulation of donations (ALCBF, 2539 John Hawkins Parkway, Suite 101, PMB 113, Birmingham, AL, 35244). We are a small staff, and this would help greatly with administration of the funds and offering tax credit. We certainly are glad for individuals to donate to us, and we will facilitate this directly as well. In our conversation with National CBF, we feel the money gets where it needs to go quicker by donating it straight to ALCBF.
To provide specific donations and explanation of how used:
McDonald's Chapel: For funds to the Birmingham area, mark the check for "McDonald's Chapel." These funds are administered by ALCBF with a group of our churches in the area. Funds provide for relief renovation and rebuilding homes in McDonald's Chapel.
Lockhart: For funds to the Huntsville area, mark the check for "Huntsville relief." These funds are administered by ALCBF through a group of our churches in Huntsville. Funds provide for rebuilding, renovating and relief in the Lockhart community.
Rosedale: For funds to the Tuscaloosa area, mark the check for "Tuscaloosa relief." These funds are administered by Calvary Baptist Church in Tuscaloosa. Funds provide for rebuilding, renovating and relief to homes in the Rosedale Court community.
Webster's Chapel: For funds to the Williams area, mark the check for "Williams relief." You can also send a check directly to FBC Williams (5579 Nisbet Lake Rd, Jacksonville, AL, 36265). These funds are administered by FBC Williams. Funds provide for rebuilding or renovating as many homes as possible in the Webster's Chapel area through a selection process guided by the church.
We have collected several wonderful resources from our friends and partners. If you have any to share, please email Natalie Aho at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your church may be interested in special prayers or a special service to recognize the tragedy of these storms in our state. Please use these resources provided to us by Pastor Gary Furr of Vestavia Hills Baptist in Birmingham.
You can download them as a pdf and print as arranged or download as a Word document and cut and paste to fit into your own printing needs.
We also received a reminder of this timely poem from Langston Hughes: Daybreak in Alabama. Thanks to Brett Younger and Loyd Allen of McAfee for sending it our way.
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network has developed several fact sheets for parents, teachers, teens, and children.
Here is a list of resources available:
Please also check out the new Psychological First Aid page on the NCTSN website (http://www.nctsn.org/content/psychological-first-aid).
You can now download the entire manual or parts of it in English, Japanese, Spanish, and Chinese.
Please watch our website and read our emails (subscribe) for changing information. We are putting new information on Facebook as well. You can also read an archive of the information we have sent out since April 27.
June 29: Our work in tornado recovery is at a place where we are winding down clean-up in the areas we have targeted and will soon begin to see rebuilding and renovation of homes. It has been interesting that each of our sites has hit a temporary lull in the need for volunteers from outside the state. We are asking folks who want to help us immediately to be patient during this short lull. We certainly are learning that the nature of help with disaster is slow and often unpredictable. The response from our churches in Alabama and friends from outside the state has been remarkable, and I look for nothing less as we continue.
Mostly know that we are at work in this tragedy as an ALCBF family, and you can join in. It is slow, changing, and unclear work sometimes. It calls for great flexibility and faith. But it is right and good, and we are finding that God is very much in the midst of it. Thank you for your connections and prayers.