"I am blessed that the tornado's path was a couple miles away from my apartment. Many of my classmates were not so lucky. One of the areas hit especially hard used to be full of university student housing, and a number of my friends' houses were destroyed. My boyfriend's old house, for example, was in the path. It is still cognizable as a former house, but 2 houses down, there is nothing left but the foundations of about 4 houses in a row. His old roommates, who still lived in that house, are all safe and have moved back to their parents' homes.
The pictures of the damage are countless, but I've attached one of a house that belonged to 3 of my friends (see photo on the left). Others' are much worse, and these friends feel lucky, relatively, because they were still able to retrieve many of their belongings. Another friend's second floor bedroom was completely blown away; she is getting married in July and lost her wedding jewelry, shoes, and a number of other wedding items. Others in the law school have lost many to all of their worldly possessions. However, we have accounted for all law students, and they are safe and starting to get their lives back together. The law community has been incredibly supportive of each other and the greater Tuscaloosa community, and I couldn't be prouder to be a part of it.
For people wishing to help, one option is to donate to the UA Law Tornado Relief Fund. This fund was set up by the UA Student Bar Association with help from the American Bar Association. Donations will first go to benefit law students, then to volunteer support, outreach to specific communities, and the Red Cross (in that order).
Another option is to give to the United Way of West Alabama. All donations will be used to benefit the local community here.
|These puppies were found and taken to|
the Tuscaloosa Metro Shelter after
the April 27th tornadoes.
Finally, since I know animals are near and dear to both of our hearts, a Facebook page has been set up to post pictures of lost and found pets. If any of your readers happen to be in Alabama, they can check that page out to know what missing animals to be on the lookout for.
Finally, you can click here to view a list of various places collecting donations and learn how and where your money will be utilized.
Thank you so much, Maya!