Empty lots and roofs with protective coverings are still common across Cullman County.

Looking at the remains of those buildings and homes, or where they once stood, only tells part of the story of the destruction caused by tornadoes on April 27. The impact on the lives of those who own the properties is something that only a few people know.

The Cullman Long Term Recovery Committee is at work with efforts that look directly at the problems citizens have suffered — and continue to suffer — because of the widespread damage.

The local committee is made up of representatives of various non-profit organizations that serve a wide range of needs in the community. Those members are well familiar and qualified to identify local needs and deliver the necessary help. They have at their disposal thousands of dollars to assist local residents. Kasey Kearce, a member of the committee and executive director of the local United Way, said needs of residents affected by the tornadoes may range from housing to legal issues. With so much expertise at its disposal, help is on the way for many people. The very existence of the Cullman Long Term Recovery Committee points to the tremendous value and need for volunteer, non-profit agencies in the area. Support for the recently unveiled United Way campaign is one way anyone is maintaining steady employment can contribute to the welfare of the community.

United Way serves as a financial umbrella for many of the agencies that deliver valuable services, such as food and emergency relief, for the community. The money raised during the campaign stays at home for local residents. Giving traditionally goes down with a poor economy, and that is expected when so many people have been out of work or have taken new jobs below former earnings. Nonetheless, the local community has continued to be generous and caring. Donations go a long way in helping a less fortunate neighbor. The combination of a sluggish economy and the April 27 disaster has left many people with needs. For those who are able, your donations today will go a long way toward removing some major hurdles for local families that have suffered through difficult times.

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