HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Tornado victims and neighbors in the Shoals area who are still dealing with the aftermath of flooding need our help right now. That's the reason WHNT News 19 partnered with the Alabama Broadcasters Association, iHeart Media and the American Red Cross to raise money. During the "Together for Alabama" telethon, hundreds of generous people stepped up in a big way! The total raised is $ 27,108.
As the phones rang, volunteers were ready to take donations. Some were as large as $1,000. However, small donations are just as crucial.
"These $10, $25 donations really make up the bulk of our support," explained Khris Anderson, Executive Director of the North Alabama Chapter of the American Red Cross.
Anderson says they're in a unique position right now. "This is kind of rare in Alabama. We've got two level-three disasters going on at the same time."
Those disasters are the flooding in the northwest Alabama counties like Colbert and Lauderdale and the tornado devastation in Lee County. For many of the people who came to volunteer at the telethon, it's personal.
"It is real personal," shared Penny Billings, BancorpSouth Market President. "We have operations in the Opelika area. Two of our team members lost their homes and one lost three of their family members."
"We sell homes and property and what better way for us to give back to our neighbors who are in need," said Sue Young, a board member for the Shoals Area Association of Realtors.
Following these disasters, the need is great and will last a while.
"After we get that call, one of the first things we do is open up shelters," said John Meredith, Vice Chair of the Red Cross of North Alabama Board of Directors. "We staff those shelters and secure food and water for the people in the community that are going to be in those shelters."
Long term, the American Red Cross gives out clean up and hygiene kits. They also offer mental health and spiritual counseling. That all costs money, so the telethon proceeds will help with some of that.
Other options for donations:
Click the graphic below to donate online:
Long Term Recovery Fund
Donations: call 334-744-1020
Community Foundation of East Alabama, P. O. Box 165, Opelika, Alabama 36803-0165. Please make checks payable to the CFEA and designate LCTRF
Money raised by Bo Bikes Bama goes to support the Governor’s Emergency Relief Fund, specifically providing funds for the construction of community storm shelters across the state.
There’s a drop down for March 29 tornado Outbreak or call 800-SAL-ARMY 800-725-2769. Tell the operator the donation is for the March 29 Outbreak.