Over the past 14 years, I've seen many terrible images of devastation from natural disasters. And yet each time, it is still shocking.
Entire neighborhoods in Fultondale were destroyed by the EF-3 tornado that struck right in the heart of winter. One person said it looked like "a bomb went off," and that's the best way to describe it. Houses reduced to rubble. Cars tossed as if they were made of cardboard.
Most painful of all is seeing the scattered remains of what used to be a family's treasured possessions. Furniture. Clothing. Photographs. Family members are then left to sift through what hasn't been totally destroyed by the storm, winds and rain.
These photos show what the good people of Fultondale are facing this morning. Today and all through the weekend, we'll meet the families whose lives have been shattered. Our team will serve them hot meals -- either at our distribution site or delivered directly to them as they search through the wreckage. I can't even express to you what it means to these folks to know that someone cares enough to provide them with a high-quality, chef-prepared meal in the midst of what is certainly one of the worst trials they will ever face in their lives.
As I noted to you yesterday, the Alabama Emergency Management Agency has asked Mercy Chefs to take the lead in food preparation in response to this disaster. This means we have an even greater responsibility to do everything in our power to meet this need. Yesterday, we deployed a second mobile kitchen. Our team is working from sunup to past sundown to prepare and serve meals.
We need help so we can meet the need today and through the weekend. Would you prayerfully consider sponsoring 10, 20, 50 or even 100 or more meals today? It costs about $2.50 to provide a hot meal during a disaster. Every gift will help. Please go here to make a tax-deductible gift to Mercy Chefs as we respond in Alabama and continue other vital efforts:
As you stand with us, please pray that these meals can provide hope for this community that is grieving loss of life, injuries, destruction of their homes, and damage to their businesses. I'll be sharing more soon. Thanks in advance for your help.
Gary LeBlanc, Mercy Chefs