Sue Thornton
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National Photo Disaster Rescue Team This group of people spent 2 days in Van, TX working on getting the photos back to their rightful owner.

Last week I was privileged to go to Van, TX and help with Photo Restoration Project in that community.  On May 10th a tornado ripped through Van scattering its residents belongings all over the place.  Can you imagine that you don't have a house anymore?  Or that you cannot find your medical records?  Or any of those precious photos of your family?  These people lost so much as well as loss of life for several residents of the town.

I was part of the National Disaster Photo Rescue effort to reunite the residents with their long lost photos and other items.  The group out of Carthage, MO was here with their expertise, as were local residents of Van, Mineola and volunteers of APPO and NAPO (Association of Personal Photo Organizers & National Association of Personal Organizers).  We sorted, cleaned photos, scanned and cataloged approximately 700 photos.  These photos can be claimed through FaceBook page, Lost Photos of Van, Texas Tornado.  There are 3 boxes of photos that you can look through to see if any of these photos belong to your family.  If you find someone that you know, please tag them so we are able to return to the correct family member.  Only authorized persons can actually claim these photos and you must fill out a claim form that is also a link on the facebook page.

This disaster shows just how important it is to have multiple copies of your photos in various places.  This is the reason photo organizers talk to you about scanning those important papers, photos and keepsakes.  How would you feel if you lost that photo of your grandmother, you know the only one you have of the two of you together?  I would be upset and I am sure you would be as well.

The National Disaster Photo Rescue organization (501c3) formed after the May 22, 2011 Joplin Missouri tornado and is a ministry of First Baptist Church, Carthage Missouri. National Disaster Photo Rescue is dedicated to the preservation and return of lost photos after a disaster, thus building renewed strength and hope by reuniting communities with treasured memories thought to have been destroyed.

As an update, we have been able to reunite many residents with their personal photos.  Our hope is that all photos will eventually be returned.


If you have photos that need to be scanned, please contact me for more information at 469.544.9525 or through my website 

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