No shortage of extraordinary stories
Life has changed so much in the last week, not much can surprise me at this point.
When I received a call from the news director of the Fox station in Evansville, Ind., on Monday, he thought I'd be surprised to hear from him, but that call was just another in a constant stream of stories about generosity that we've been hearing since Ivan hit.
This caller, Bob Walters, said that he had heard in his church about the devastation in Brewton, and initially church members were going to hold a food drive and bring some things down to Brewton to assist with the recovery. Walters thought, why not use his position with the television to make it an effort the whole city of Evansville could participate in?
Over the next two or three days, I talked to Walters several more times, I had a call from a Red Cross representative in Evansville, and I spoke with Rogene Martin of our local Red Cross chapter. In that short time, all of those people connected and set in motion a project that, for me, exemplifies how Brewton has been adopted by strangers from far away who've come here to care for us as if we were family.
Fox WTVW News Channel 7 in Evansville has partnered with the American Red Cross, grocery chain Bueler's Buy Low and trucking company Meisler Trailer rentals to collect donations of food, cleaning supplies and other supplies at seven different locations around Evansville and bring those gifts to Brewton's Red Cross office on Tuesday, Oct. 5.
The people in Brewton who benefit from those donations will probably never meet the people of Evansville who made it all possible, and I don't know how we as a community could show them our gratitude. I've wondered all week how we could express that gratitude to the hundreds of people who have come here offering help or the hundreds of people who are a part of the community and are giving every effort to rebuild our town.
Maybe the most natural way — if an indirect one — is to continue to be kind and gracious as we all go through the frustration of disaster together. I want the out-of-towners who are in our midst in these weeks to see us as a community of people who are grateful, strong and connected enough to right the wreckage that was out of our control as Ivan plowed through.
As this area gets back on its feet, I want The Standard to be a vehicle to highlight those extraordinary stories of determination, hard work and selflessness which are contributing to our healing. Each of us is a part of those extraordinary stories in some way.