Volunteers help change the lives of tornado victims

By Mackenzie Patterson - bioemail

WOODBURY, GA (WXTX) - Many of us have found it hard to imagine having your vehicles, home, and everything inside your house destroyed.  Now, imagine facing the daunting task of having to clean everything up and put the pieces back together.

Volunteers came out in parts of Georgia to help victims of last week's tornadoes to make sure victims are not forced to pick up the pieces alone.

Amy Johnson is thankful she, her husband, their two children, and her 80 year old father were not home when a tornado tore through her neighborhood on Park Road in Woodbury.  After the storms the family came home to trees through roof of their house, the family camper flipped over, and a backyard filled with broken pines.

"It is just devastating.  You build your home here and just for something to come through in just a couple minutes to wipe it out.  It's just heartbreaking," said Johnson.

But, only a little more than a week later, the house is starting to look like a home again thanks to volunteers offering their time to help clean up a mess Johnson said would have taken her family what would seem like forever to clean up.

"Months, months but you know the community and the churches have been so good to come out and help us.  They've done in just a day or week what it would take us months to do by ourselves," said Johnson.

Aaron Caudill was one of about 100 volunteers who came from all over to help clean up or even sort through donations.

"Throughout the day we have several different teams spread out through different sites.  Most things we've been doing are debris pick up and tree removal.  Just cleaning up and a lot of it is just carrying on a good conversation with someone who has been through it," said Caudill.

Both the Caudill and Johnson say the efforts show how caring the community is.

"We have the best community in the whole word.  I mean everybody just steps up to help everybody.  I wouldn't want to live anywhere else," said Johnson.

If you would like to make donations to the tornado victims in Meriwether County, the Sheriff's Department is asking you drop things like canned food, bottled water, new clothing especially socks and underwear, and personal hygiene products off at the Warm Springs Fire Department at 3636 White House Parkway.  The fire department is open daily from 9:00am to 9:00pm.

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