• Cindy Fuller

Heartland Recovery Committee Pays It Forward

Oklahoma City, OK (August 7, 2023) While working with survivors and volunteers impacted by the Heartland Tornadoes, The Salvation Army gained many new friends with hearts to serve the hurting. When storms hit Central Arkansas including Little Rock and Wynne, they knew what these communities were going through. Calling on their experiences from 2021, they immediately reached out to help their neighbors in need.

Terah Redman learned the importance of donations management. She ran the distribution center in Trumann. When her husband, Trumann Police Chief, was deployed for mutual aid the night of the storm Terah went with him. She assisted community members with the set-up and management of the Wynne distribution center. This allowed The Salvation Army to quickly and efficiently distribute needed materials and goods to the community.

The Salvation Army and other agencies are now taking the experience gained & recovery lessons learned from the Heartland Tornadoes and sharing them with these communities. They are helping to form a united front to address the pressing needs faced by the affected communities. Many of the agencies are participating or are recruiting their counterpart for the areas to participate.

Laurie Fried, Divisional Director of Emergency Disaster Services, Arkansas-Oklahoma Division, says “In 2021, Trumann formed a long-term recovery committee to help those who lacked the ability to help themselves. This community saw firsthand the benefits of long-term recovery. They are now sharing that knowledge and helping other communities to recover.”

The experience gained from the Heartland Tornadoes has become a beacon of hope, guiding the path to recovery in Little Rock and Wynn. The foundation for healing and rebuilding has been laid, not only by The Salvation Army, but by the spirit of compassion that countless individuals on their journey to mend what has been broken. The seasons continue to change, transforming tragedy into a tale of resilience, hope, and the unbelievable human spirit.