|Aerial shot of Flooding 2011 near Omaha's Eppley Airfield|
The story of the sandbagging volunteers is amazing. My husband and I were checking out at Bakers, a local grocery store, when the clerk who appeared to be 14 told us he'd been at Missouri Valley, IA earlier in the day sandbagging before coming to work. This brought tears to my eyes. There are more stories like this of friends and strangers helping others. A local university provided more than 100 high school students sandbag volunteers for its SummerWorks program. Here's an account from a local minister on his recent sandbagging efforts - Robert Murphy.
When I told my mom that Brian and I were going to volunteer to fill sandbags she told me that I would be following in the footsteps of my Grandpa. All the stories I’ve heard my Grandpa tell over the years; I never remember hearing about his sandbagging efforts. According to my mom’s account grandpa volunteered to fill sandbags during the Great Flood of 1951. My mom, who was only 5-years-old, remembers piling in the car to see where her dad had sandbagged off the Missouri River. Similar to today, while driving she witnessed the river banks that were swallowed up by the Missouri.
Many have noticed population-we™ getting involved by also Tweeting, pinging and facebooking call-for-sandbag volunteers through our various social media platforms. Sandbaggers are still needed. United Way of the Midlands is calling for volunteers. To view an online message board courtesy of United Way, click here.
Recently the Salvation Army and radio personality Tom Becka hosted a stuff the sandbags event with something nontraditional - money. The Salvation Army Western Division includes 28 Corps Community Centers in Nebraska, South Dakota and western Iowa (areas affected by the flood). The Salvation Army's counter top red kettles have been brought out of storage to also help in raising funds for The Salvation Army’s flood relief fund. Look for them at local HyVee grocery stores. Donations are providing support for people working on the area's levees as well as helping those who are being displaced by flooding. Can't make it to a red kettle location, the Salvation Army is also accepting donations via: web, phone and mail. To donate, go to givesalvationarmy.org, call 800-SAL-ARMY or mail a check to The Salvation Army, 3612 Cuming Street, Omaha NE 68131. Be sure to designate your donation to "Flood Relief."
With this tragedy the generosity of total strangers shows that the American spirit is alive and well this July 4th. God Bless America!
- population-we™ blog post by Becky Bohan Brown
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