Monday, May 2, 2011

On Behalf of My Community

Imagine the tallest tree in your neighborhood. Now imagine that tree torn from its roots and laying sideways down the middle the road. Imagine the tree crushing your neighbor's home. I don't think I could have envisioned these things a week ago, but I'm sad to say those images have become very real in the streets of my town.

Think of an exit along your nearest interstate, with all those sky-high signs advertising the nearest McDonald's or Days Inn. Now imagine every one of those signs blown out. That's the first thing you notice as you drive by the exit, before your eyes land upon the rubble that once was a restaurant, a gas station, a motel. That's how exit 350 along I-75 in Ringgold, Georgia looked when I saw it on Friday.

The storms and tornadoes that ripped through this region on Wednesday, April 27th made for one of the most frightening days of my life. I feel so lucky that my greatest losses were two days of electricity and the contents of my fridge. I want to be helpful to my community. Realistically, the best way to do that is financially. It isn't much, but I'm giving what I can.

It's weird being a relative newbie to the community during this time of enormous need. I wish I knew more people here so I could be helpful in those everyday, neighborly ways - offering a meal, a hot shower, a place to crash. So, I'm going to do the next best thing I can think to do, and that's asking my faraway friends to make their own contributions. I know that most of us are not wealthy and that there are a million meaningful ways you could spend the few extra bucks you may have. So I'm asking as a personal favor that you consider my community and make a donation in one of the following ways. If you donate, please send me a message with your mailing address so I can write you a personal Thank You letter.

Thanks for reading, and I hope to hear from some of you very soon ~

Quick and Easy
Text the word GIVE to 80888 to donate $10 to the Salvation Army or text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 to the Red Cross

To Give to a Specific, Local Chapter of the American Red Cross
Chattanooga Chapter - Go to, click the box in the upper right corner that says "Local Disaster Relief - Donate Now", and be sure to select American Red Cross Greater Chattanooga Chapter.

Northwest Georgia Chapter (which services Ringgold, GA) - Go to, click the top red box on the left that says "Donate Now!", select American Red Cross of Georgia. When you get to the donation page, the first field will say "Gift Designation". Click "Other Chapters in the Region", then select "Northwest Georgia Chapter"


  1. Thanks Tara. Those photos made me cry. I am going to make a donation to the Chattanooga chapter of the Red Cross right now.

  2. You da best!!! Thank you : )

    Yeah, I get choked up a lot these days. The storms alone were so scary and relentless. It was this spooky, all-day, stormy then sunny, stormy then still, on/off mess. We took shelter in our closet twice - first at 8:30am and then at 10:30pm. I've never been through this kind of thing before. But then the fallout was so shocking. I'm glad I wasn't watching the news or the weather on Wednesday (that would have freaked me out more), but I sure wasn't prepared for what I saw on Thursday and Friday.