My Family Needs Your Help

My heart is heavy. 

Yesterday tornadoes ripped through the state of Alabama, destroying homes and businesses and killing over 180 people. 

I’ve walked around all day with a lump in my throat. I’ve wondered: Why is this affecting me this way? My family is fine. Edward and I lost power in our apartment for nearly a day but that was certainly nothing to gripe about considering the devastation being reported. So why am I so sad? 

I’m sad because Tuscaloosa, the town I called home during my time as an undergraduate student at the University of Alabama, was nearly decimated by the tornado. Many of the places in town where I made some of my greatest life memories were flattened by the F-5 storm.  Because of the devastation, the university will hold no more classes this semester. Final exams for next week also have been canceled and graduation ceremonies, scheduled for May 7, will be postponed until August. 

Then I arrive at work today and learn that the family of one of the students I taught last year lost everything in the storm. Everything. The house and the car. Her mom can’t find her purse so she has no money, no license, no debit or credit cards. They had to dig through rubble to find shoes to wear last night when they were preparing to leave to stay with friends. 

I’m sad because my family is not fine, because these Alabama residents displaced by this storm are my family too, in this moment. 

Please contact me at if you’d like information on how you can help my former student. 

Click here for a list of dozens of ways you can help victims across the state. 



  1. Javacia, thank you for sharing your story and for the link to Magic City Post. I know it is painful right now, but we can help your student and others like her in the coming days.

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