As many of you know, the summer of 2008 brought record breaking flooding to my hometown of Columbus, Indiana and Monty and I spent the summer there helping the long term recovery reach out and help others. That is where we were when hurricane Ike struck here.
The long term recovery organizations that are formed after a disaster are the life blood of the recovery. They are the ones who do the fundraising, who handle the money and who look for more. Without them there could not be a recovery.
Just as it was in Columbus it is here -- that long term recovery is headed up by the United Way organization.
On Christmas Eve I received one of those late night phone calls that you know isn't going to be good!
"The United Way is burning to the ground" said Eric, one of the case managers I had in Columbus. Yes, to the ground!
To see and read about it you can go to www.therepublic.com where there is video and story after story. You can also do a google search and read even more.
The thing about the Columbus United Way building --- it housed nearly 40 other community service organizations!! Everyone there doing what they can to help others, from the children to the elderly and everyone in between. And now all that's left is smoke, flames that refuse to be put out and dashed hopes!
Not a way to spend Christmas!
I would ask that you search your hearts and see if there is anything -- anything at all --- that you might be able to do to help in this situation? Think hard, pray about it and then act!
My heart goes out to Doug, the president, and the entire "family" that welcomed us and loved on us that entire summer! I know they will come through this even stronger and even closer but the journey is painful and they all need our help and prayers.
God bless them . . . and you! Susan and Monty