With so much darkness, I hope the Red Cross can shine light after TN tornadoes

By: Sophie Kluthe

When I think of the notion of ‘home’, I think of Nashville. It’s a place so full of vibrancy, color, and music at every turn. People are so welcoming and warm and excited to share their culture and story with visitors from all over the country and the world.

East Nashville is where I married my now husband. Just down the road from that venue was where we hosted our rehearsal dinner BBQ. It’s where we shared our first home. East Nashville is where we created incredible bonds with our neighbors and frequented many of wonderful restaurants, bars and other venues that helped make our time there so memorable.

East Nashville is also where two people were killed Monday night into Tuesday as an EF-3 tornado tore from the Germantown part of the city, through downtown, all the way through neighboring Donelson. Waking up to the images of those very same establishments where we created so many memories, crushed into rubble, with no roof in sight, was absolutely heartbreaking. It was upsetting to see the path of destruction that barreled through the homes of my neighbors, former coworkers, friends, and their families. That restaurant where we had our rehearsal dinner just two years ago sustained damage to the windows and exterior.

March 3, 2020. Nashville, Tennessee. Red Cross volunteer Denisha White, right, holds Gaberl Booker, 5 months old, as the mother Quanisha Booker, left, holds Rapheal, also 5 months old, at Red Cross shelter at the Centennial Sportsplex for people displaced by a tornado in Nashville, TN. Photo by Scott Dalton/American Red Cross

Through all of it, I know that one of the bright lights for the people who are no doubt suffering right now, will be the warmth and safety of a Red Cross shelter, stocked with cots, food and resources to help them retain some sense of normalcy. Many in the Nashville area and Wilson and Putnam Counties, which were also hard hit, are dealing with unspeakable tragedy involving not just the loss of homes, but significant loss of life. I know that Red Cross volunteers, trained in mental health and emotional support, will help get them through what are probably the worst days of their lives. The volunteers supporting Middle Tennessee are from Middle Tennessee, because that’s the beauty of the Red Cross. It’s neighbors helping neighbors. And in the face of unspeakable tragedy, I know this will be one of the driving forces on that road to recovery.

To learn more about what the Red Cross is doing in Tennessee, and how you can help, visit: https://www.redcross.org/about-us/news-and-events/news/2020/red-cross-helps-after-tennessee-tornadoes.html

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