By Rep. Darrio Melton
Last week, Typhoon Haiyan, one of the largest ever recorded, tore through the Philippines, causing more than 3,900 deaths and more than four million people to be displaced. Between 10 and 13 million people need assistance. Workers are still trying to get in to make sure everyone is under care.
On Sunday, storms struck the United States, tearing through 12 states from Iowa to New York. In Illinois, at least six were killed and dozens more injured. Thousands of families are without power. Hundreds are without everything. Authorities are still working to clear debris and discover the scope of the damage.
Here in West Alabama, we are no strangers to the devastation Mother Nature can cause. We vividly remember the April 27 tornadoes that caused so much destruction in Tuscaloosa. We will not forget the tornado Super Outbreak that killed 88 people in 1974. In fact, Alabama is home to the most deadly tornados in the nation.
We all know friends, family and loved ones who have been affected by severe weather. We know how devastating it can be to watch a community pick up the pieces.
During this season of Thanksgiving, we all have so much to be thankful for. As we reflect on the many blessings in our lives, remember the families who have been torn apart or who have lost everything and think about how you can give them more to be thankful for this year.
Take a moment to think about what you can give to these families in the Philippines and across the United States. Think about what you can give to the people here in our community who are struggling.
This Thanksgiving, I’m challenging you to give thanks by giving back.
Instead of rushing from the dinner table to head out for Black Friday shopping, think about what blessings you have that you can give to others.
Remember, it is more blessed to give than to receive. Look for opportunities to help others this Thanksgiving, and be thankful that you’re blessed with the ability to give.
Representative Darrio Melton is a Democrat from Selma. He was elected to the Alabama House of Representatives in 2010.