WTVM Editorial 2/3/17: Community stronger after SWGA storm

(WTVM) - Last week it was National Signing Day around the Chattahoochee Valley…talented student-athletes made their choices for college and that's always a big event.

But just as big in its own way was a donation by a local sporting goods store to a local Alabama school hit hard by the January tornadoes.

Academy Sports and Outdoors gave $1,500 in equipment and gift cards to Smiths Station High School after severe storms tore up their softball and baseball fields, toppling trees, destroying chain-link fencing, and generally making a mess of the playing fields.

It was a small gesture but it was symbolic of the larger helping hand many businesses and individuals extend after a natural disaster…of which our region of the state has had far too many recently.

This outpouring of support after deadly tornadoes hit the Albany area is proof of just how determined communities are to come to the aid of their neighbors after such punishing destruction.

The Columbus chapter of Girls, Inc. collected 20 boxes of children's clothing, non-perishable food, and toiletries to support their chapter in Albany.

And Columbus Tech collected donations which will be transported to Albany by a truck from the Southwest Georgia technical college to support the Albany Technical College, hit so hard by storms that classes have yet to resume there.

A recent red cross phone bank organized by WALB-TV succeeded in collecting over $200,000 in donations, including an exceedingly generous $50,000 check from SunTrust Bank.

Pledges poured in from around the state and from people in Tennessee, Alabama and even North Carolina.

From that amazing effort to other substantial cash donations including $5,000 from our parent company Raycom Media, which owns WTVM and WALB in Albany, the community will rebuild stronger than ever.

We all know but for the grace of God, the deadly storms could have placed us in the bullseye instead.


General Manager Holly Steuart brings two editorials a week to WTVM. If you would like to respond to an editorial, e-mail your response to hsteuart@wtvm.com or write to:

WTVM Editorial Committee
1909 Wynnton Road 
Columbus, GA 31906

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