The water has swept on from the floods that raged through this region less than 2 weeks ago. It took with it all that it had the power to carry away. It left behind not just confusion and debris, but also an opportunity for communities to rise higher than the water ever did, and they are doing so. All members of the FundRaiser staff were touched directly by the impact of the floods which spread over the entire region where the FundRaiser office is located. Each responded with energy and courage as matched their situation, and all have been left with a deeper understanding for customers involved in disaster relief.
Tamara Lovan of Technical Support went right to work volunteering. "Heading to Carmichael Field to assist with sorting flood debris starting at noon. This evening we will be helping gather donations at the Civic Center," she wrote us after being one of the first to track down where the volunteers were gathering.
She and her friends worked hard all day, and were left with a great feeling that evening and renewed respect for the work that many of our FundRaiser customers dedicate themselves to. "On all levels this impacted me and I am left with a deep sense of gratitude. It really reinforced how important this area of focus is. I don't know where this town would be without people willing to help out without expectation of getting anything out of it."
She started at the Visitor Center, as she had heard that hands were needed for debris sorting. "There was so much trash and rubbish left after the flood, and the city of West Plains provided a place to bring it. So many volunteers had shown up already that it was all done... sorted into piles of plastic, building materials, car stuff, brush and vegetation, and so on, so that is was easier to process," she said.
From the Visitor Center, she went on to the First Baptist Church to help with donations. "The Church was all set up already to take in donations. Their systems were in place before the flood and ready to be used in this emergency. I was amazed at how many donations there were and people just pouring in to give things. I was amazed to see the level of generosity and so many people happy to volunteer."
Finally, she finished the day at the Civic Center, collecting donations at the benefit concert. "The Army National Guard Rock Band had been in Rolla and heard about the flood relief. They came down and donated an impromptu concert. For admission, people donated canned food and other gifts, and we helped take those. We had a really nice day and did everything we could to help out where we could," said Tamara.
Read more about how other staff members were affected and how they responded in upcoming blog posts.