It is hard to believe it was only a few weeks ago that my son and his family lost everything to the EF4 tornado which passed through Washington, IL. While I am still amazed at the devastating power of that storm, I am more amazed by the help and generosity of people. I am so thankful for all the help provided by my friends and colleagues at Adobe and Web Professionals. I am equally impressed with the assistance provided to my son by Supreme Radio Communications and to my daughter-in-law by Rhodell Brewery. The assistance by so many individuals (many of whom I have never met in person) was very touching. I can not begin to express my gratitude for the help my son’s family has received. Thank you to everyone who helped. I have asked my son to reply individually to those who helped. I know that will take some time, but I also know he will be back in touch with each person via email or some other means. As I reflect on the past couple of weeks, I wanted to share some lessons I have learned.
First and foremost – the majority of people are very kind, generous and willing to help. Yes, there were jerks (even among the cops directing traffic) and people trying to make a buck (that would be scrappers and potential looters), but the vast majority of individuals went above and beyond to help all of us. I witnessed so many selfless acts during the past two weeks that I will remember for a long time. While I can not single out everyone, I wanted to mention Stephanie as an example. Although her house was damaged, it was still intact. She went to high school with my son and stopped by our house to drop off some gift cards that she was given. She felt that he needed them more than she did. That was an amazing moment. In a similar manner, I am very proud of my son and his family in that they also shared a lot of what they were given with many others who were also affected by the storm.
Next – I am amazed at the power of social media. Yes, I teach classes on this very topic, but it is reinforced so much more when one can get the message out to so many so quickly. Between Facebook and Twitter, we were able to communicate with so many individuals. I am also amazed how these media are used to get photos and other items back to their original owners. There were thousands of views, likes, retweets and so forth. The response of the online community and speed of communication was quite amazing. This is a definite lesson that should be learned by local governments as they communicate with people affected.
Additionally, I am impressed with the positive energy shown throughout these trying times. Not just my son and his family, but so many individuals demonstrated what can happen when you think positively and don’t let the situation drag you down.
I am also amazed by the scope of the event and how quickly it was picked up by various media outlets. I provide two links below to videos that included my son and his family. Yes, their cats made local and national news.
All considered, it has been an incredible couple of weeks. My son and his family are adjusting to their new normal and have taken great strides to get back on track. I am very impressed by how quickly they have managed to adapt. Again, I am so thankful for all the help and support from so many people. Some individuals I have never met in person, but they still provided significant help to my son and his family (Kirk – you are one of those I am thinking of and will always remember your kindness and generosity).
Most importantly, no one in the family was injured or killed. Had they stayed at home that morning, who knows what might have happened (the majority of the house collapsed into the basement). Although some of their material possessions can never be replaced as the people who made those items died many years ago, the vast majority of items are replaceable. We had so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. My perspective on humanity and how kind and generous most people are has been confirmed. Thank you to all who helped.
One thought on “Many thanks for helping my son’s family”
We wanted to add our thanks. We cannot express how much the help of our friends and family, both new and old, have helped us cope with this tragedy. We have found that help, in any form (financial, material and spiritual) is the greatest gift mankind has to give to one another.
For those that are not aware, we have set up a Facebook page that does not require a Facebook login to view. This has been the easiest way for us to let everyone know of our day to day growth and how the assistance is changing our lives.
We will be in touch shortly with everyone that has helped us.
The DuBois Family
Ben, Lindsay, Keenan, Gavin and Owen