At Close to Home it’s sure hard to turn off the news. It seems that every time you turn around, there’s another story of someone losing their home or dealing with the unattainable house. Whether because of a forest fire right here in our Pacific NW backyard, or watching the recent news on the multiple […]
Yes, the news can seem dire. Another tornado, a storm, a flood, lives lost, homes destroyed, families and their larger communities devastated. The cameras and news teams leave after the major tragedies are caught on film. Then what happens? Good things. Good things happen. Volunteers come out of the woodwork. Some are with highly trained crews; others are individuals from a neighboring town. Even more are locals. More people come because the same thing happened to them a few years ago. The common thread between all of these people who show up to help is that they want to do good work. They want to feel helpful, connected, to give hope and possibility at a time when it is hardest for the victims to see that possibility.
The City of Greensburg, Kansas, was struck by an EF5 tornado (winds in excess of 200 mph) on May 4, 2007. Ninety-five percent of the infrastructure of Greensburg was demolished that night – only three buildings remained, none of them residential. Eleven people lost their lives.
Rachel Stamm (Founder) and Erin Hulme (Advisory Board) traveled to Greensburg in March of 2013 to learn more about the story of Greensburg first-hand. Close to Home is a business that has been further inspired by the personal stories heard during that visit. The quality of disaster response has an important impact on a community’s ability to recover and restore post-disaster. That lesson informs our work at Close to Home. The story of Greensburg and its residents has become a beacon of hope as well as a valuable resource for other towns and residents recovering from natural disasters.
The idea that evolved into the business model that is now “Close to Home”, was sparked in the spring of 2011 during the rash of tornadoes that hit the United States. 2011 saw the second largest number of tornadoes recorded in one year’s time. I watched the news reports with concern. The tornado outbreaks occurred, […]