Natural disasters seem to bring out the best in Americans. Of course, it's sometimes a pity that it takes earthquakes, tsunamis and other such devastation to get us to think about people other than ourselves, but I digress...
After the tornadoes that hit the southern U.S. in early April (April 14-16), a bleak picture was painted with more than 150 tornadoes touching down in a three-day period, dozens dead and thousands displaced from homes. Just a few weeks later (April 25 - 28), it got worse. More than 400 tornadoes were reported in the southern, midwest and eastern portions of the country, and early estimates put the damage near $5 billion. Hundreds were killed and hundreds more are still missing. However, with all this doom and gloom, there is a positive note on the horizon...and social media is playing a huge role.
Those interviewed after fires, tornadoes, floods, etc. are often heard to say they don't care about the house or the furniture...it's just "stuff." But the things they mourn are the pictures, family videos and birth/marriage certificates that chronicle and define the riche lives the person - and their ancestors - led up to the point of the storm. Enter, Pictures and Documents found after the April 27, 2011 Tornadoes.
This is just one of many such sites that have popped up in the last few days/weeks....and I'm sure more are to come. Take a look through the site at the photos, birth certificates, paychecks and other documents that have been lost and found...and returned to their rightful owners thanks to Facebook. If this isn't a brilliant use of this tool, I don't know what is.
As a side note...in case you hadn't heard, Japan has pledged 10 million yen ($125,000) worth of blankets and plastic sheets for people left destitute after the tornadoes. Love it!
"In a time of destruction, create something."
— Maxine Hong Kingston