Yesterday morning, I did my usual roll over, pick up my phone from my nightstand and start flipping through email, Facebook, Twitter and the news before even sitting up. This is what I do while my husband is in the shower, now that I'm not the coffee hound I used to be. I jumpstart my brain by reading on my phone. My husband calls it an addiction, but whatever Mr. Mayor of a Jillion Places on Foursquare, this is how I wake up.
Anyway, this article caught my eye. It didn't just catch my eyes, actually, it made them well up with tears, and my nose with sniffles and by the time I got up and shuffled to the bathroom my husband had begun to tease me thinking I was having a full blown allergy attack. No, I said, just reading news about tornado devastation and recovery in your home state. Which shut him up nicely.
By the time I got the kids off to school and returned to the computer to read the article more thoroughly and see the pictures in a larger scale, I had decided we needed to do something. And I wanted my kids to be involved. I can't throw them in the car and drive down there and start handing out water bottles, as much as I want to. But, we can raise some money and do some collections here, which is what I suggested to Drew when he got home from school yesterday afternoon. Because the article was focused mostly on the destruction of the schools there and the students who didn't WANT to go somewhere else, they wanted to go to THEIR school, thank you very much, we decided that thing which we could do is a book drive. But Drew read the article and said, "Mom, we need to do more than just books. They'll need school supplies." That's my boy.
We put a bin on the front porch, emailed everyone we know, and voila! Books have already started showing up on the porch. Drew is very excited. My eight year old drew that picture, and I want you to know he freehanded that state of Alabama with only a passing glance at the shape on a T-shirt my husband was wearing. It gave me goosebumps watching him draw it. And now I know that on top of what we need to be saving for MIT for his big brother the engineer, the Kansas City Art Institute is like $43,000 a year and Holy Cow, help me.
Anyway, back to the books.
If you live in the Kansas City area and want to bring me a collection, email me. For now the bin is only on my front porch, but we have some feelers out to local stores who may let us put a bin in their lobby or front entrance. If you live outside the area, I urge you to start your own collection, or go here and donate in other ways. If you want to know more about Hackleburg, Alabama, visit this Facebook page.
I know there are lots of other little towns with massive destruction like this one. I know there are more people who need help. I know there is much to do. I am one woman, we are one family, we are four states away, and this is what we can do. Do something, whatever you can do.