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Young volunteers helping with tornado recovery effort in Tennessee

Posted at 9:28 AM, Mar 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-10 12:28:34-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- There is a long way to go, but the efforts of volunteers -- many of them quite young -- are helping neighborhoods recover from this month's tornado outbreak in Middle Tennessee.

The hardest hit parts of north Nashville are blocked off by police except by those who really need to be there. But what's happening behind the barrier is amazing.

Volunteers come in all shapes and sizes and they are making a real difference. Whether it is serving up burgers or hauling away the bag after hefty bag of debris. A group of students from Oak Hill School are all in on the clean up effort.

"We came out her to help the community," Hine McGuigan said.

It's a sentiment echoed by his sister Mary.

"When we are serving or giving clothes to people who don't have much it just makes us feel better because giving is better than receiving," said Mary.

Reverend Curtis Bryant of Greater Heights Missionary Baptist Church is only too glad for the help. His neighborhood there at 14th Avenue North and Cockrill Street was hard hit by the tornadoes, and friends are hurting.

Reverend Bryant turned his church into a supply depot and rest stop for volunteers and storm victims alike.

"We're getting what we need: gasoline, hot dogs, hamburgers and more love," said Bryant.

He said volunteers topped out at over one-thousand last week, but things have improved dramatically. Now the volunteer army is down to three-hundred, many of them youngsters.

"It's sad how much people in our community have lost. Like their homes and everything they own," fifth grader Patrick Pritchartt said.

For the students, it's like a field trip into the real world, a chance to help and learn.

"They are getting a first hand knowledge of what it means to serve others," Reverend Bryant said. "They have started to reach beyond themselves and out to others and the power and the energy is just amazing."

This story was originally published by Nick Beres at WTVF.