On April 27, 2011, severe storms and tornadoes ravaged the small town of Phil Campbell, Alabama. The home of Nickey, Kathy, and their three grandchildren was obliterated; reduced to a heap of splinters and rubble. They received the maximum $30,000 in aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, but it wasn’t enough to purchase a new home. The family of five temporarily moved into a friend’s RV. They were homeless.
Gifts to ELCA Disaster Response, directed through Lutheran Disaster Response, helped coordinate and support the rebuilding effort. With the help of volunteers, their house was rebuilt in three weeks. And just two months after the tornado leveled their home, they received the keys to their new three-bedroom home. The family was the first family in Phil Campbell to move into a new home after the disaster.
During the blessing of their home on June 30, 2010, members of the community gathered to pray for the family and the recovery of all other affected by the destructive storms. Nickey and Kathy were speechless; Kathy silently wiped away tears. In addition, local ELCA congregations provided two homemade quilts and a $500 gift card to help them furnish their new home.
"I'm very grateful," Nickey said. "You can’t put it into words."Your gifts to ELCA Disaster Response ensure that this church is ready to bring help and hope to disaster survivors — both immediately after the disaster and on the long road to recovery.
Download this story as a bulletin insert