Helping out… #Birmingham, AL

Although a lot of the national news hasn’t mentioned it much -hello, MSN, the first thing I saw when I got online?  Crap about NFL draft prospects and superstar kids. Um, tornadoes-killed 170.  Maybe that should be the headline?

Anyway, yesterday massive storms hit the south. A tornado nearly a mile wide was reported to tear through Birmingham.

I read somewhere that one entire town was wiped off the map.

As always, in times of tragedy, there are going to be cretins out there who try to profit from it.  Make sure if you’re from the area, you only use reliable, vetted services.  If you’re donating money, make sure it’s a reliable charity-I always check through Charity Navigator.

Because I want to do something to help, I’m going to make you help me do it. For every comment I get up to 100, I’m donating a buck to the United Way of Central Alabama. Comments must be made here at my blog, though, not via FB-just makes it easier to keep up.


88 thoughts on “Helping out… #Birmingham, AL

  1. Elen

    My thoughts and prayers are with Alabama. Thank you for doing this, Shiloh. I hope you get your maximum comments. Yes, I’ve never understood headlines.

  2. Heather

    It’s always hard to imagine that much devastation so close to home, but it seems like every few years it comes along. =/ Hopefully as many people as possible will make it through okay!

  3. Kerri Coakley

    God Bless everyone going through this tragedy!! Shiloh, what you are doing is awesome!! I will re-tweet and share!!

  4. Danielle Monsch

    This is awesome of you Shiloh. My thoughts and prayers (and dollars) are with Alabama. As an aside – this is why I don’t do news services. They are more interested in the latest celebrity gossip article than getting their butts in gear to let people know how they can help out in such devastation.

  5. Ana Lucía

    Hi. I’m from Guatemala but I know how devastating nature can be. You are great for doing this.

  6. Stephanie

    Back in Arkansas they had three days of tornados. A town not far from where I use to live was wiped out. Alabama got it worse than Arkansas did. It’s still sad. So many lives lost.

  7. Amber Keller

    Thank you for your charity! It’s true about the news, and I don’t understand it myself. That picture is so pitiful. I send my thoughts and prayers out to everyone affected. Me and my family were lucky.

  8. SamAnne (Stephanie)

    Will retweet – And thank you for providing an easy opportunity to get involved in our community. With such overwhelming devastation, it is hard to know where to begin to help. May 100 comments fill your page quickly!

  9. Bonnie H

    It’s a wonderful thing you are doing Shiloh and I thank you. I’ve never been through this type of natural disaster but having seen videos it’s incredibly terrifying. My heart goes out to all the people affected by this and I pray that all the communities involved would be able to come together in support of each other, and that the usual “cretins” do not pull their usual crap.

  10. Lindsay

    My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Alabama. Thank you for posting the United Way link.

  11. Brandi

    Thank you for taking the time to reach out to those who have been affected by the destruction of mother nature. I know I was praying yesterday the one that touchdown near my house would miss it. I am sorry to hear about the loss of lives and my heart goes out to the victims and their families!

  12. Sarah Mäkelä

    This is awesome that you’re doing this, and I agree. MSN shouldn’t be placing so much attention on the NFL and hardly any on the tornadoes. I’ve re-tweeted!

  13. Anna

    My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone in the region. It came so close to our home, and experiencing the anxiety of the “what if” or “when if” is horrible. My heart breaks for the families left devastated by this storm.

  14. Susan Helene Gottfried

    I was just talking about how awesome you are, Shiloh, to a bunch of local writers and I get home to find you’re doing this. Provin’ me right…

    I’m glad to see someone stepping up and helping out. If I can do anything more than spread this link, holler.

  15. Brenda B

    Thanks for caring. I have family in Alabama, so far the ones I have heard from are all ok!!!

  16. Marie

    Thank you! I live in Cullman AL. We also got hit really hard yesterday several times. I an a rapid responder for my local fire Dept and did search and rescue on homes that had been destroyed or had trees that had fallen on them. The damage that has been done is horrible any help we can get is greatly appreciated. Thank you again for any donation that is given.

  17. Marie

    Thank you! I live in Cullman AL and we got hit really hard yesterday several times. I am a rapid responder for my local fire Dept and did search and rescue on homes that were destroyed and homes that had trees that had fallen on them. The damage that had been done yesterday was horrible. Any help we can get is greatly appreciated. Thank you again.

  18. Nicole

    *hugs* to Shi for doing this! I’m just floored by all the damage and destruction. My family has friends just north of Birmingham. We lost touch with them a few years ago, but they are definately in my thoughts and prayers right now, as are everyone in the state, as well as GA and TN.

  19. Kelly Mueller

    You are so great at giving to others. I am very thankful that all of my friends who are effected by this are all safe. I feel for the family who have lost a loved one. I send my prayers to everyone. And hope that people would realize life is short and you have to love everyone everyday.

    Thank you again Shiloh for just being you!!!!

  20. StacieDM

    I really feel for the people in the southeast. I grew up in a tiny Oklahoma town (pop. 838) and a tornado nearly destroyed it in 1991. The first President Bush even came to survey the damage. I know how shock can set in after an event like that. I hope everyone will be able to put their lives back together as soon as possible.

  21. Aemelia

    You’re awesome Shiloh! My co-worker’s sister was in Tuscaloosa last night, and thankfully she nor the friend she was down there visiting were harmed. I was stationed at Ft. Rucker in the 90’s (my oldest was born there), since then Alabama is close to my heart.

  22. Teresa Kleeman


    Your amazing woman! It is so good of you to do this. I live in NC and I did my part by giving blood and always dropping money at places that were collecting.
    It feels good to give. I dare everyone to take the money you would use on a video or going to the movies to donate it to the storm victims or earthquake victims.
    We as people can make a difference.

    Teresa K.

  23. Patti W

    My prayers go out to those people who lost their loved ones. The devestation is awful and all the government is concerned about is a birth certificate.

  24. Teresa

    I can’t believe the lack of publicity about this. I didn’t hear anything about it until someone on twitter mentioned it and I had to SEARCH for it. Search I did because I have a sister in Alabama. I was scared for her. I think that this is fantastic. Thank you for doing it.

  25. Michelle Mical

    This is a fantastic, selfless thing you’re doing. I’m sure the people of Alabama will appreciate all you do for them! As for the news, you’ve gotta expect it. I’m not sure what’s happening to the quality of the news, but it sure is going down. These reporters write what they’re interested in and forget about the rest of it!

  26. Marcy

    We are from Wisconsin and I and a bunch of friends are getting together to head down to the south and help out.. Can you tell us where to start as fars as lending a hand or care packages etc…

  27. Shiloh Walker Post author

    Marcy, I honestly wouldn’t know where to start-I’ve never been able to go help immediately at a disaster. Something you might want to consider is calling your Red Cross, and asking them. Another option is to see if any churches in your area are organizing a mission trip to help. Some larger churches do that sort of thing. United Way is another resource.

  28. Liza

    Shiloh, you are so awesome to always step up to help those in need! Just got a message from my church about helping out those in AL. Need to see how they have everything set up for donations so I can help out.

  29. Carol VanderKloot

    thank you for using words to enlist + rally support for this devastating series of events.
    you follow a great tradition of wonderful writers being that you hail from the south.
    here’s to a flurry of comments + donations!

    also i’m going to listen to Neil Diamond’s Shiloh in your honor!

    thank you!


  30. Carol VanderKloot

    thank you for using words to enlist + rally support for this devastating series of events.
    you follow a great tradition of wonderful writers being that you hail from the south.
    here’s to a flurry of comments + donations!

    also i’m listening to Neil Diamond’s Shiloh in your honor!

    thank you!


  31. Susan R

    My heart goes out to all of those effected by this extreme weather we are having.
    Shiloh – you rock with the causes!

  32. Jen Partin

    Thanks Shiloh!!! We were not hit in my part of Bama but there are SO many who need help and prayers right now….

  33. Jocelyn

    It is so heartbreaking to see the devastation caused by the massive storm. Thank you for doing this. We need more people like you!

  34. Tyhada

    My daughter is going to speak with her principal @ middle school tomorrow about setting up donation boxes. We figured there are a lot of kids that go to school that have clothes they don’t wear or have outgrown that the people who lost things (in some cases lost everything) could use.

    Wouldn’t it be wonderful if each and every school in the country could help out in some small way?

    I think it’s great what your doing Shiloh!

    God Bless

  35. Teresa

    after moving away from Tornado Ally, I do not miss the spring ritual of siren testing, alarms in the afternoon/evening, and the trekking down into the basement. I hope the country is not so tired of bad news that this is totally ignored in the wedding fanfare.

  36. Julie Brengard

    This is really cool of you to do. These storms can reek so much havoc. I am from St. Louis and we just had bad ones on Good Friday. It went through a mile or so from my son and daughter in laws house. We were lucky here. There were no fatalities or serious injuries even though it ripped through out airport. Very scary.

  37. Michelle Bledsoe

    I love you for doing this Shiloh. Bless you for having such a giving heart. I have been on the receiving end of loving charity recently and know how much easier it makes going through the rough times.


  38. PattiH

    You are a wonderful person! Thanks for doing this!

    (Oh, and why is Fox News more interested a wedding than their own viewers in the midst of disaster?!)

  39. Pamk

    Thanks for all you do. There were sayingthat something like 200 tornadoes hit in that line of storms. The town I grew up in (Trenton, GA) which is 15 minutes from my house was hit by 3 different tornadoes back to back. There was one behind us and several in front. It was by the grace of god that our town missed a direct hit. My son school was damaged and lots of roads were impassable.

  40. Nell

    Thanks for doing this. I’m in Texas and we are fighting fires right now so I understand the loss. My hubby lost a co-worker to the fires last week.

  41. JenM

    I’m just amazed at how much damage was done over such a wide area. So sad. Thanks for noting that people should check charities on Charity Navigator – it’s so important to make sure your money will go to the right place.

  42. Adriann R.

    I have a lot of relatives in Alabama, so my heart is with them tonight. Thank you for the link to Charity Navigator…before I read your blog I was already Googling for the best place to donate. You saved me the effort, needless to say. Thanks again for letting your light shine!

  43. Laura

    my sister and her family live in tuscaloosa,al which was badly hit by the same tornado- they were lucky but the people in the subdivision across the street were not. thank you shiloh

  44. Brandi Clark

    I’m from Choctaw County, AL, about an hour and forty five minutes south of Tuscaloosa. We had areas hit hard too, F2 and F3 twisters that took down homes. We are all devastated as a community and state. Thanks so much for this and God bless you!

  45. Mandi M Lynch

    I was driving south on I65, nearing TN when I heard tornadoes in AL. I knew they could be coming towards me, or heading east towards friends and family. Either way was bad. Then I heard about the one through Tuscaloosa and I didn’t know if I should stop the car and puke or not. That’s the one city name I didn’t want to hear. I texted all my friends, and they call texted or called back – what a relief. Even my ex boyfriend called – He had been in Tuscaloosa when the tornadoes went through, evacuated to another city, and they hit there, too. He’s a nurse, so he signed on to help at the hospital. (I’ll spare those stories)… So much bad going on, lots of people without power for a week or more.

    Thanks for doing this. We’re still recovering from the floods in Nashville; this weather cell caused us to cancel our 1 year cleanup plans. May Alabama and Georgia have better luck.

  46. Summer Stephens

    Here’s my comment: “Shiloh, you strengthen my resolve to be a better person.”

    I’m off to snag A Forever Kind Of Love, to help you with this project.

  47. ChrisP

    I have lived *near* the South in Florida (yeah, it’s further south, but it’s not The South), and have visited my father in Georgia, and I have to confess, I don’t ever want to live there – it is not a good fit for me. *BUT* I wish the people well and hope that your drive makes a difference. I love your stories and I admire your dedication to help people in need. Thanks so much for being such a caring person.
    -CP from the Pacific Northwest
    P.S. I also plan to make my own donation through a reputable source.

  48. webbie

    I have many friends and family in Alabama who suffered great loss. Even now, my BIL is in Hackleburg on search and rescue. Thanks for doing this!

  49. Bronwyn S

    Good on you Shiloh! My heart ached when I saw this news and I’m on the other side of the world! Thank you for caring =)

  50. Lisa Boggs

    Great idea!

    So much devastation i just can’t imagine. This should be front page news so to speak everywhere still.

    Lisa B

  51. Slush


    What you are doing is admirable. I admit I was also at a loss for words when the news is filled with stories that can wait compared to learning more about those that suffered at the wrath of nature.

    Thank you.

  52. Elizabeth B

    I live in Eastern Tennessee and thankfully, did not see any storm damage where I live. Sadly, the same cannot be said for Greene County, which is only 30 minutes from where I grew up. These storms were horrible for the fact the same areas were pounded by wave after wave of storms. My thoughts and prayers are with those in Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Georgia and Tennessee that were impacted by this devastation and hopes that the weather will give these communities a reprieve.

  53. Lindsey Hutchison

    my heart and prayers goes to those affected do to this. i have friends that keep going on flood and tornado warning over there and all i can do is keep in contact with them daily. my heart is over there with every one…im proud of those for helping…and i admire you for doing this.

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