This happened. In a town about 40 minutes from here, but a town where I just visited for a meeting, and left thinking what a beautiful place to live. So close to Peoria, so lovely, wonderful park district, community pride. It had it all.
Yesterday, November 17th, a devastating tornado hit Washington, Pekin, East Peoria, marching on across the state to Gifford, hitting homestead after homestead, house after house. Destroying homes and businesses.
My best college friend lives in Washington. She is my dear friend who took this picture.
and this one...
and this one...
and this one (it's one of my favorites)
and then this Christmas card:
Look at these babies!!
and this baby...
Anyway, this post is not about pictures of my beautiful babies, but, then again, it kind of is. Kara Kamienski is my dear friend, and she lives in one of the communities devastated by the tornado. Her house was spared, but hundreds of her fellow Washington folks homes were not. 400-500, according to my boss, another Washington resident.
These folks don't have these pictures in a frame on their walls any more. They don't have walls. They don't have homes. Kara took pictures just like these that hung in beautiful homes that are now gone. The pictures of the rubble are astounding. My boss said this morning it sounded like a war zone with all the helicopters.
As an employee of the United Way, we don't give direct services, but we fund programs through groups such as the Red Cross. We needed to react, to support, to address the situation, regardless of if we're the people distributing blankets, or writing the checks to buy them. Seeing my boss, our CEO, and all the VPs sitting at a table, an impromptu meeting...one member knowing first hand how scary this situation really is, was amazing.
If you feel so inclined, I recommend donating. Go to the Red Cross website and donate. Bring water to a drop center if you're in central Illinois. Pray.
November 17th warrants a blog. Although we've been dealing with our own family crisis of sorts, one must respond to the needs of nearby communities.
We need to react in times of crisis.
Life is too precious.
Linking up with Holly's 30 Day Blog Challenge here.