Beauty from devastation.
When we think of natural wonders, the last thing we picture in our minds is destruction. And yet it was the forces of nature that destroyed the neighborhood where I grew up just over a year ago. Today, the backdrop is much the same with what appears as broken toothpicks instead of the beautiful tree line that once shaded our home. The leaves that clung to their branches during the tornado are still coated with cottony insulation that saturated the sky as hundreds of homes collapsed.
With entry completely blocked to first responders, members of the Holly Hills community took on the task of going door to door throughout the night to check for surviving friends and family; some of whose homes were merely empty spaces on the block. When the streets were cleared, my own effectiveness as a relief worker was completely overcome by my shattered heart. It's hard to look upon this site and see beauty. But there were tremendous displays of beauty as people arrived from all over to begin clearing the debris; some arriving only to wrap their arms around those whose lives were terribly interrupted.
This same beauty is what I am most proud of at LEAF. Literally thousands of work hours are dedicated to serving its community each year. The work its staff members and volunteers perform is not easy. But the labor intensity is masked with the smiles and warm hearts that welcomed me in as a part of the LEAF family. While not everyone LEAF serves is reeling from devastation, their needs are real. And you can help this group of dedicated individuals that is LEAF to extend its beauty even further through giving. Support LEAF today by making your donation at fremontleaf.org/donate.