A tornado just devastated our hometown of Dresden, Tennessee. Our office is on the North side of Main Street. If it had been on the South side, it would have been destroyed like City Hall and the other offices.
My brother lives down the street in the home where we grew up. If that house had been on the same side of the street as our office, it would have been destroyed like the house across the street—and the six or more homes next to it.
A block away is what remains of the church where my grandmother taught Sunday School for about 40 years, where we eulogized my parents, where we baptized our children, and where our family has worshipped for a century or more.
We are safe.
We are blessed beyond words.
So many of our neighbors, however, have lost their homes and about all of their worldly possessions.
Many of the homes destroyed or severely damaged housed folks who didn’t have anything extra to lose. For example, the woman who lived across Main Street from my brother had invested everything she had fixing up that old house. Then COVID hit. The restaurant where she worked closed. She got behind and last month couldn’t pay the insurance on the house. She’s grateful her granddaughters were not killed by the tornado, but today she put everything she still owns in her front yard.
A few years ago, Governor McWherter and Representatives Fitzhugh and Maddox and I created a non-profit. We now are accepting donations to help our neighbors most in need. Two donors already have pledged to cover all the administrative expenses so that 100% of every donation goes directly to those in desperate need. I would be grateful if you would consider joining us in trying to help.
If you'd rather mail a check, please send to:
The Volunteer Center
Attn: Disaster Relief
PO Box 5
Dresden, TN 38225
Please keep our community--and the others suffering elsewhere--in your prayers.
President, The Volunteer Center for Rural Development