Washington IL Tornado: Finding The Good Among The Destruction

Washington IL Tornado: Finding The Good Among The Destruction

Yesterday’s devastation begged for helpers.  And, help they did.

I posted a picture a friend’s husband had found on his driveway.  The wedding picture fell from the sky.

photo (13)


Within two hours, my inbox started lighting up like a Christmas tree.  Each message the eerily the same.

“I know these people!”  “This is Frank and Tammy Ammerman!!”  “Oh, my God…that’s my childhood friend~she lost her house today!”  “I sang at their wedding!!”

Late last night I got an e-mail from the young man in the picture.  He confirmed it was him.

Out of town at the time of the storm, Frank assured me that his former wife and their three children were indeed safe.  The house however was decimated.  Frank included this picture in his e-mail.


My heart sunk.

I was really looking for a good ending to a day of destruction.  Feeling helpless yesterday, all I really wanted to be was a helper.  So I blogged about a lost picture.

What transpired in the time span of two hours was amazing.  Over 3000 other helpers assisted in spreading the word.

By morning (3 a.m.) over 91,000 people had viewed the picture and about 8000 had shared it with their friends.

By this afternoon ~ twelve hours later ~over 13K people shared the picture on Facebook.


Social media gets a bad rap these days.  Yesterday it served a bigger purpose.

It helped the helpless to be helpers.

And something lost was found.

My faith in humanity has been restored.

In times of trouble, always look for the helpers.

They are out there.

If you find photos and documents–other people’s important papers–in your yard, you can mail or drop them off at the Grundy County Chamber of Commerce, 909 Liberty Street, Morris, IL 60450, during business hours Monday – Friday, and they will assist with categorizing and having a place people can go to try to find their items.

If you have a picture that is in need of restoration as a result of yesterday’s tornado, contact Angie O’Neal.

She left the following message yesterday:

I’m from the area – Grundy County specifically – and would really love to restore photos like this for those affected by the storm. I can fix photos like this, My information is available at www.angieoneal.com. I would love to help out.


Linda Reichert left a similar message.

Linda is a volunteer for the Operation Photo Rescue.  They can be reached at www.operationphotorescue.org  They fix storm damaged photos at no charge.

Speaking of photos…I received another today.  A woman found this picture at her boyfriend’s house in Seneca yesterday.  The names printed on the back of the photo are Ralph and Carolynn Coon 1957.

ralph and carolynn

Let me know if Ralph and Carolynn look familiar…

Maybe lightning will strike twice.



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