I am still overwhelmed with yesterday's experience in Macon County. Thanks to WBIR Channel 10, the people of East Tennessee responded to our call for supplies and cash. In one day, we raised $5,000 for Macon county relief and a 26 foot truck-full of cleaning supplies, toiletries, salt, sugar, oil, and pillows. Another 16,000 bottles of water leave tomorrow. Russell Biven with WBIR's "Live at Five" program led the charge communicating to the community all day Wednesday. On Thursday, he followed us to this hard hit area.
We were at Carl Trent's home in a neighborhood that lost 11 people in the tornado. Carl saved the lives of 3 grandchildren and 1 other child during the storm. With little warning, he placed the children under a couch and held the pillows on top of them as they rode out the storm. This picture is taken from what remains of his front porch. His house is in the rubble behind us. He was in that rubble during the storm.
I can't say what a privilege it is to be able to work with Russell, WBIR, this fine team, and this church. The group pictured with us came from Beaver Dam, Lenoir City, and First Baptist all to help. Michael McEntyre led the chainsaw team, and we helped pick up the pieces--literally-- of Carl's home and place them near the curb where the army truck could go by and haul away his stuff. After the lot is cleared, he will receive a FEMA trailer to live in while his house is rebuilt.