One of the things that I’ve been fortunate (or unfortunate depending on your perspective) to have happen to me is to be from a town that is for the most part, largely unknown. As I have progressed throughout my career, people have actually been curious where I’m from, what it’s like, and how it differs from where they are from. I assume when you’re from a large city like Indy, Chicago, etc. people already have a pre-established notion about what to expect and can, for the most part, picture themselves spending time in your locale. Being from Henryville, Indiana, though, meant that each person that asked about my home was someone I could share the wonderful atmosphere, goings on, and character of perhaps the best little town you’ve never heard of, at least until recently.
On Friday of last week, that small little town became the epicenter of the current news cycle as Mother Nature again proved that no matter how much control, order, and plan we may have, it’s basically for nothing if the universe has other ideas. In just a few short minutes, Henryville was transformed from a sleepy Mayberry-esque existence to a series of images and videos that rival combat footage of war zones thanks to a string of tornadoes that left damage, destruction, and even death in its path. Henryville was not the only town hit, but many of the most heartbreaking stories, shocking footage, and attention has been focused on this area. School buses thrown through windows, houses completely leveled, gas stations destroyed, and Henryville High School nearly unrecognizable.
It’s staggering, heart breaking, and a whole host of other adjectives. It’s not uncommon to see weather related tragedy on television or in print and feel a tinge of sadness at the destruction and devastation that mother nature can cause. From experience, now though, let me tell you that seeing those images and seeing shells of places you’ve been, roads you’ve driven on, or houses you’ve been in just makes it seem all the more unfathomable. This sort of thing isn’t supposed to happen to you or people you know. It’s supposed to be people in some faraway place that you have heard of, but have never been to. It isn’t supposed to be your neighbors who lose their homes or their lives. Its not supposed to be your town’s school that lays in shambles. It’s not supposed to be your town’s residents being interviewed and quoted by media organizations from Australia. I’ve wanted everyone to know about Henryville for a while now, but not like this.
Like many rural areas, the town and surrounding communities have rallied, helping tirelessly to clear debris, rebuild, replenish materials, and in general, assist their fellow man. The news cycle will eventually move on, and the eyes of the nation will find the next tragedy to focus on, Tweet about, and update their Facebook statuses regarding. But for Henryville, the work is just beginning. The destruction and devastation is so complete and thorough that long after CNN clears Clark County there will still be people with little more than the clothes on their backs and the bags of donations that have poured in from all over the area. That’s where people, people like you and me, come into play.
As much as people would like to think otherwise, aside from the manual labor needed to tarp roofs, chainsaw trees, or go through piles of rubble, financial backing for organizations providing help on the ground is sometimes just as important. Especially so, if like me, you are almost half a day’s drive away and are simply unable to lend a strong back. For the readers of this blog or folks this may be forwarded to, there are several ways you can help. By texting 90999 a $10 donation will be added to your cell bill with the proceeds going directly to the American Red Cross. For those without the capability to text, or for those who would prefer a more direct way to help, donations will be accepted here at OverThePylon.net until I return home on March 23rd. 100% of donations made on the right hand sidebar via PayPal will be given directly to the victims as First Christian Church of Scottsburg is coordinating the financial help. Every little bit will help and could mean the difference between someone starting over with something or simply back at square one. There are few opportunities that come along where your efforts to help can be felt so immediately and so directly. This is one of those times.
Filed under: DonationDrive