As we all know, North Texas was hit with tornadoes on December 26, 2015 destroying homes and lives in Garland, Rowlett, Copeville, Farmersville, Blue Ridge and Nevada. There have been many volunteers, and organizations helping these residents to get their lives back together. Our hearts go out to these residents who have lost their homes, I have found it very emotional to go out to these areas and actually see the wreakage those tornados caused in our cities and towns. Seeing the photos on television, or hearing about the disaster doesn't begin to tell the story. Everytime I go out and search for photos and documents I am reminded of this terrible tradgedy and the lives it displaced.
One group that came here to help was the National Disaster Photo Rescue which 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. They are headquartered out of the Joplin, MO area where they were founded after the disasterous tornado that struck Joplin, MO several years ago.
The National Disaster Photo Rescue (NDPR) team here in North Texas consists of volunteers that also helped last summer with reuniting residents of Van, TX with photos and other important documents after the tornado that hit them in May. We are a non-profit organization that simply seeks to reunite families with their memories. In that vein, we have been going out into the communities and talking with home owners and other groups that are helping the victims reclaim their lives. We have formed search and rescue teams going out into these communities and walking the area looking for photos. They are buried under and in brush, in piles of clothes, debris bulldozed on the side of the road. Once these piles are picked up these memories might be lost forever. But with the windy conditions we have here light weight items will be found miles from where they originated.
Our facebook page, Lost Photos of Garland and Rowlett TX Tornado is posting information about volunteer opportunities to help look for the missing photos and other items. There is a continued need for help, photos are being turned into our drop off locations and in April we will be getting ready to post the items we have found. If you are a resident, volunteer organization, or corporation that is helping residents clean up their homes, etc. and find photos or items that are obviously important please take them to one of our drop off locations. The locations are:
- GRANGER RECREATION CENTER, 1310 WEST AVENUE F
- GARLAND FIRE STATION #5, 5626 LYONS ROAD
- CHURCH IN THE CITY, 6005 DALROCK (DALROCK & HWY 66)
- LIFE MESSAGE COMMUNITY MISSION, 4501 ROWLETT ROAD
FARMERSVILLE, COPEVILLE, NEVADA:
- FARMERSVILLE POLICE DEPT, 134 N. WASHINGTON STREET
Many people have asked how we plan on returning these items to their owners, so here is the basic method that we will be using. 1) we organize/group photos, 2) clean each photo, 3) scan each photo, 4) catalog and finally 5) items will be placed on our FaceBook page so people can go through them and claim the ones that belongs to them. This process takes time to complete since it is a manual operation. We hope to have collected many photos to return to residents.
For information about NDPR, contact our headquarters at 417.358.8161 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can contact our local NDPR representative at 214.356.3878 for more information about our local effort.
"The main priority of National Disaster Photo Rescue continues to be "returning lost memories worth a thousand words". "