After the tornado blew through Glade Spring in the wee hours on Thursday morning, residents were left with a huge clean-up job and neighbors were left with a huge desire to help.
Community members from all around the region have shown up in the hundreds at the Volunteer Reception Area to register as volunteers, and many more hundreds have simply skipped the paperwork and jumped in on the job. E&H students rode to Glade in vans to help out, and some came in by foot when they got stuck in long lines of traffic. E&H alumni have driven into Washington County with chain saws, work gloves and supplies. And absolutely everyone has been looking for a way to make a difference at a time when there is so much need at every turn.
And kids are no exception.
Using the yard at what most of us know as “Mr. Mitchell’s old house” children of E&H faculty and staff found a way to offer aid to friends in need while also passing a pretty fun Sunday afternoon. They held a car wash. A warm sunny day was the perfect backdrop to a wet fundraiser and the kids raised close to $300. Based on the grins and wet heads, it seemed like they had a pretty fun time with their work.
County children missed two days of school because of the storm. Glade Spring Middle School lost a sizeable piece of its roof in the storm. So when kids went back on Monday, they spent a lot of the day talking to each other about the storm and sharing their stories. And, of course, at Glade Middle, they spent part of the day gaping through the gym door windows at the huge hole in the roof. So this fundraiser by the Emory community kids was a personal endeavor as they worked to support some of their classmates affected by the devastation – some of whom had lost their entire home.
Glade resident Greg McMillan (’90), Vice President for Advancement at E&H, began the clean-up at his house first thing Thursday morning and one of the things that had blown into his yard was a single hymnal page from a nearby church completely destroyed by the tornado. The hymn was “Jesus Loves the Little Children.” Seeing these and other area kids pitch in to help with a very grown-up problem is a reason for all of us to celebrate, appreciate, and love the little children.