Kansas City is a great place to live and just happens to be a nice short drive back to my home town of St. Louis. I am fortunate to visit my friends and family in the “Lou” frequently. Easter weekend was my first trip back since the storms had blown through. I had followed the news of the storm online and on TV, but seeing it first hand had much more impact. They were lucky to report only property damage from the storm and no fatalities.
After a few days of driving by and slowing to stare along with all the other drivers on the Highway I decided to take an early morning visit into some of the neighborhoods. My first visit was to Harmon Estates that was closed to the public, then on to Bridgeton and Maryland Heights where so many homes and businesses had suffered damage.
It was hard not to get caught up in all the property damage and the change in the landscape from the loss of so many mature trees. Trees that were in St. Louis long before me. Then I began to wonder where all the people were coming from. Crews of chainsaws, bobcats, and workers from every trade. You could see the city and utility crews hard at work to restore the infrastructure to the residents. It is a mix of public, private, and volunteer efforts pooling their efforts.
I spent some time with the people at Service International from Chesterfield Missouri as they prepared for volunteers to arrive. They were expecting 150-200 volunteers from Home Depot to arrive and take up rakes, trimmers, and shovels to pitch in on clean up efforts.
We will always have tragedy, devastation, and destruction. As soon as the clouds, the smoke, or the water clears we will always need people with the desire to serve others. The volunteers that I met today were not quick to have their pictures taken or to be recognized for their work, you could see their reward in their hearts already.
My thoughts and blessings go out to the people of Alabama.