At roughly 12:45 this morning a tornado touched down in Nashville, TN and brought mass destruction to so many neighborhoods primarily Germantown, East Nashville, and then on to the Mt. Juliet area just east of town. As I write this, the death toll is listed at 25 people with many, many more that have lost their homes, property, electricity, etc. I woke up this morning to over 100 text messages from friends checking on our family, group texts of friends checking on each other, sharing reports, etc.
It's been a sad, emotional day here. The images of destruction and the stories of those who have lost so much are staggering and hard to process. But the images and stories of strangers and neighbors pulling together and serving one another have been equally powerful in a positive way. Today has shown me that people can be kind, helpful and selfless.
All of you who have checked in with us today have wanted to know two things:
1) Are you ok? and 2) How can you help?
So I wanted to answer both of those questions here.
Yes! We are ok. We are located in the 12 South Neighborhood and the path of the tornado went a couple of miles North and then East of us. There was no property damage in our neighborhood from the storms and the iconic locations like Burger Up, Draper James, Frothy Monkey and the "I Believe In Nashville" mural are all still alive and well (although the East Nashville Burger Up location and Nashville mural were damaged.)
For those of you looking to help out, there are many ways that you can do that, but I've listed a few key options below.
HELP OUR FRIEND TANNER & HIS ROOMMATE TY
These two amazing guys both work for an incredible ministry and the house they rent was completely destroyed with them inside it last night. They are amazingly unharmed, but they didn't have renters insurance and have lost all their belongings. This gofundme account will help them get back on their feet. Donate by clicking HERE
HELP ERIC PETERS AND HIS FAMILY
Eric is an incredible artist and he and his wife and two kiddos lost their home in the storms last night. He also lost his studio and the inventory of a rare book business that he runs. You can help support him and his family by clicking HERE
SIGN UP AS A VOLUNTEER
If you'd like to sign up as a Disaster Relief Volunteer, register with Hands On Nashville by clicking HERE
PROVIDE FOOD FOR THOSE IN NEED
If you would like to provide food for those in need, Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee is a great organization who will steward your gifts well. It has been noted that they are particularly in need of bottled water at the moment. You can get info on how to give including the address of their distribution center where you can bring food items by clicking on their website HERE
MAKE A FINANCIAL DONATION
The Community Foundation of Middle TN has activated their Middle Tennessee Emergency Response Fund and is a great place to donate funds. You can do so by clicking HERE
GIVE MATERIAL ITEMS TO THOSE IN NEED
If you prefer to give items, the Community Resource Center is currently accepting personal hygiene items, bleach, trash bags, gloves, box cutters, baby food & formula, baby and toddler clothes, and batteries. These items can be dropped off at 218 Omohundro Place, Nashville, TN 37210.
In May of 2010, Nashville experienced a devastating flood that crippled the city, but we linked arms and rose from the waters a stronger, kinder and united city. And I know it will be true as we overcome this storm as well. We are grateful for your thoughts, prayers and donations for all those affected, and we look forward to hosting you next time your travels bring you to Music City.