Photo courtesy of The Boston Globe
Last weekend my state was devastated by flood waters that breached 500-year flood levels. Here, about an hour from Nashville, we have been uber-aware of all that has gone on. We know people who lost their homes and businesses, are aware of people who lost lives, have walked in the streets that disappeared below raging waters, eaten in restaurants destroyed by the storm, shopped at the damaged Opry Mills, stayed at the water-filled Opryland Hotel (or just stopped by to see the magnificent Christmas lights display each year), and cheered the Titans in the flooded LP Field stadium.
A lot of attention has been given to the lack of coverage by the national media in light of the oil spill in the Gulf, which has devastated that area, as well. Despite this, President Obama has declared more than 20 counties in Tennessee areas of national disaster, with funding (hopefully) to come soon.
My ray of sunshine amid all this devastation has been the people who live here. Country music stars came out in full force Thursday evening during Channel 4's Flood Relief with Vince Gill & Friends telethon. Over $1.7 million was raised as viewers watched those celebrities answer phones, speak about their own property losses, and -- of course -- entertain with mini-concerts. Taylor Swift donated $500,000; Bud Adams and the NFL, $400,000; Toyota gave $25,000; Lowe's donated $50,000; and of course thousands of individuals donated $10, $20, $50, and $100 as they were able. Over 7,000 volunteers have signed up with Hands On Nashville to help with relief and clean-up efforts; this is, of course, in addition to the thousands who helped during the flood and who have already been aiding their neighbors in beginning to pick up the pieces left behind in the flood.
Other things that are going on currently and in the next few weeks to help:
- Ke$ha benefit concert at LimeLight June 16
- GAC Music City Keep On Playin' benefit concert telethon May 16 featuring Brad Paisley, Lady Antebellum, Dierks Bentley, and more
- Text 'REDCROSS' to 90999 to donate $10 to the Red Cross or visit their site for other options
- Donate to the Salvation Army
- Do the Write Thing for Nashville benefit auction by local writers and publishing houses
- Other ways to help are listed at NashvilleCityPaper.com
One of many YouTube videos documenting the floods: