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Tornado Featured

As you can imagine, ourBlack Warrior CouncilExternal Link in Tuscaloosa has joined thousands of people across Alabama, other southern states and the Midwest to try to come to grips with recovery efforts after April’s devastating tornados. So far, there have been no reports of fatalities among registered Scouts within their council, and we pray that continues to hold true as the search for victims continues.

Scout Executive Dewayne Stephens finally had a moment to bring us up to date on the work his council is doing, which is nothing short of remarkable. Below are some excerpts from his email to me:

Friday morning (April 29), I established our office building as a collection center for donated items to be taken down to the destruction zone. I have been working with the city and United Way on the city’s disaster plan. We have had around 30 Scouters and Scouts at this location every day.

Today, our camp became a housing location for Alabama State Troopers. We are housing and feeding them on site. These are actually troopers from different states as well. Though we have had no structural damage either here or at camp, we have had around 100 trees damaged at Camp Horne.

We will not really be operating as a council office for the near future. We are simply a relief center trying to help as many people as we can. I cannot express my appreciation for the outpouring of emails and texts I have received from my Scouting family. It helps in a very difficult time for me, my staff, and our volunteers.

We have not focused on our needs at this point, as they are non-existent compared to the devastation of this community. We are in uniform serving our communities and will continue to do so. I have received emails from total strangers who write to tell me they had flats somewhere and some kid in a Boy Scout uniform changed their tire, gave them a ride or whatever.
We are visible, prepared, and willing. Pray for my community.

When we talk about being Prepared. For Life.™, it’s defining moments like these that really tell America what Scouting teaches our young people and offers our communities in times of great need. We continue to pray for the safety of our Scouts, volunteers, staff, and their neighbors in these hard-hit areas of our country. At the same time, we should all take a moment to honor the work the BSA is doing in these devastated communities to bring some sense of relief and comfort to those who have lost so much this past week.

I know the Black Warrior Council isn’t alone in these efforts. Please let all of us know of the work that’s happening in your areas to assist with recovery efforts from the recent tornados that swept across the Midwest and the South. Rest assured that we are marshaling resources to offer whatever assistance we can.

How to Help–From Scouting.org:

If you would like to help with the relief effort we encourage you to support the American Red CrossExternal Link or Salvation Army.External Link Or if you’d like to support our councils and members directly, you may do so by clicking this link and making a contribution.External Link The funds raised will go to helping those councils affected by the storms.

Thanks,

Bob Mazzuca