“I can’t replace my kids: I can deal with damage to my house”

A home in Ferguson after Friday's tornado

A home in Ferguson after Friday’s tornado

By Dana Biermann

I was out both Saturday and Sunday working with The Salvation Army’s mobile canteens that were deployed to St. Charles County and St. Louis’ North County that were hit by tornadoes Friday night. I had the privilege to speak with  several residents who were affected by the severe weather. You would think if your roof was gone or if the back of your house had been ripped off, you would be pretty mad. But the primary sentiment I heard while touring these places was gratitude.

“I know my house looks like this, but not a single person was injured by this storm. What a blessing.”

“My roof fell in on my daughter’s room, but she was still in the basement, thank God. I can’t replace my kids, [but] I can deal with damage to my house.”

“See those people cutting apart the downed trees on my lawn? I’ve never met them before, they just showed up to help.”

“The only family that was home were my dogs, and they’re doing just fine.”

An EDS volunteer serves water to residents in St. Charles County

An EDS volunteer serves water to residents in St. Charles County

Even when there’s a tree laying on their roof, the citizens of St. Louis and St. Charles have been nothing but grateful for the droves of neighbors, friends, and organizations who have donated their time to help. So it’s up to us to make sure that they can recover from the damage that Mother Nature has given them.

If you are an EDS trained volunteer, we are still working in the neighborhoods affected, so please contact gary_busiek@usc.salvationarmy.org to sign up to volunteer in our canteens. If you have not been through our EDS training, we ask that you refrain from contacting to volunteer at this time, unless it is to sign up for a future training. If you are interested in receiving training, please call 314-646-3000 and ask for our EDS department.

If you are looking for ways to help, the best thing you can do is donate money. As more specific needs arise, we want to ensure that the families affected do not need to go through red tape to get what they need, and your dollars give us the flexibility to support these residents immediately. Please give now to be a part of the recovery.

To keep up to date with our efforts, follow us on Twitter or Facebook or sign up to be on our email list.

To view photographs from our canteen tours, visit our Flickr Page.

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