Updated: Apr 1, 2020
In the early morning hours of March 3, 2020, a powerful storm system producing multiple, strong tornadoes ravaged Nashville and Central Tennessee, leaving 24 people dead, hundreds more without homes, and countless businesses destroyed along its fifty-mile path.
One tornado struck hard near NFD’s Editor-In-Chief, Cindy Chafin. While she and her family are well and her Davidson County home sustained only minimal damage, nearby friends and structures were not as lucky. Donelson Christian Academy is the school of Cindy’s son, Spencer. The school is now a giant pile of rubble. This is only one of the thousands of stories from that dreadful Tuesday morning.
Nashville is home to New Focus Daily. While our town is known to the world as the “IT” city, we residents simply know it as “OUR” city, with the most kind, loving, and beautiful people in the world. Our community knows no strangers here. We are family. We are STRONG in faith. We are selfless. Across this town, we extend our arms and prayers to anyone and everyone in need of a helping hand. We are – Nashville Strong.
Today, however, Nashville and its central Tennessee neighbors, from Mount Juliet to Cookeville, are the ones needing strength and prayer. The devastation here is far more profound than what is shown on a thirty-second national news clip.
While this region begins to rebuild through its own strength, faith and love, thousands of its residents would surely benefit from your prayers and helping hands right now. For those of you in our NFD community who would like to help, we have compiled a brief list of effective community organizations that are enabling central Tennesseans to get back on their feet. If you would like to be a part of this resurrection success story in-the-making, here are a few avenues to consider. Thank you for always reading and, in this case, being a part of our #NashvilleStrong community. With God’s strength and ours, may we all bless Nashville and central Tennessee.
Monetary Donations: consider the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee’s Emergency Response Fund: cfmt.org
Donated Items: donate supplies such as water, diapers, toiletries, etc.to the Nashville’s Community Resource Center at 218 Omohundro Place, Nashville, TN 37210: facebook.com/CRCNashville/
The Country Music Association and SESAC will collect essential items needed by a variety of nonprofits throughout Middle Tennessee. The drop-off area will be behind the building, located at 35 Music Square E., Nashville, TN, behind RCA Studio A through March 13. Drop Off times are 9 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Items desperately needed include toiletries (feminine pads/tampons, personal hygiene, first aid kids, adult and children diapers, full-sized towels/washcloths), clothes (gently worn bras, packaged underwear/socks), food (canned food, non-perishables, baby food, baby formula, reusable water bottles, gift cards to grocery stores), utilities (batteries, battery-operated lanterns, flashlights, box cutters, trash bags, cleaning supplies, tools, laundry items, clean bedding, storage bins, work gloves, tarps, rolls of plastic) and animal supplies (collars/leashes, bowls, baby gates).
Volunteer Your Time: If you are local, please consider volunteering with Hands On Nashville. As of this posting, over 5,000 people have signed up, but more will be needed over time. Hands On Nashville is currently accepting volunteers to help clean up the rubble and is working closely with the city of Nashville and the Office of Emergency Management to best help push through the power outages and road closures, according to its website. Volunteers must be 18 years or older.
To all of you who now give, pray and lend a hand, Nashville and all of Central Tennessee deeply thank you. Together, we indeed are #NashvilleStrong.
Special thanks to my dear friend, Stacy Widelitz, for the incredible, heartfelt photos of East Nashville. Photo Credit: Stacy Widelitz c.2020