Local professionals assisting storm victims

Published 8:20 am Monday, June 27, 2011

For many of those who survived the devastating tornados that struck Alabama on April 27, little was left of their former lives. Homes demolished. No clothing but what they were wearing. And quite often, no means of transportation left except their feet.

A group of local professionals and business people decided to do something about that last need, and one could say their efforts are rolling right along.

“We’ve taken in right around $59,000 in donations,” said Ronnie Paulk, who is heading up the Tornado Disaster Vehicle Relief Fund. The monies donated are being used to purchase used vehicles for survivors who lost everything in the storms, have no insurance to replace their cars and are in need of transportation for work or to care for family members.

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To date, more than 20 vehicles have been donated to survivors in Tuscaloosa, Hackleburg, Birmingham.

“Everywhere that was hit except Phil Campbell,” said Paulk. “We don’t have contacts there as we do in the other towns, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we end up helping someone there, too.”

Donations from $50 to $25,000 have made the program possible, Paulk said. Working with sources across the state has helped the local group pinpoint those most in need.

“We feel good about what we’ve been able to accomplish as a community through this program. One hundred percent of the money is going to help these people in need,” Paulk said.

While the donations have slowed down a bit, Paulks says money is still coming in and the group will keep delivering cars to people as long as there is money to purchase them.

Anyone who wishes to make a monetary donation to the Tornado Disaster Vehicle Relief Fund can send their contributions to: Tornado Disaster Vehicle Relief Fund, c/o Ronnie Paulk, 500 East Commerce St. Greenville, AL 36037.

Contributors are asked to note on their checks the monies are for the relief fund. For additional information, call 334-382-5920 or contact Paulk via e-mail at Ronnie@BenefitPlannersInc.com.