On March 3, a tornado ravaged Nashville, Tenn., which caused extensive damage and at least 24 deaths. Only hours after the devastation, members of VFW Post 1970 in West Nashville got to work.
Commander of Post 1970 John Lambert, a Navy veteran who served from 2002 to 2006, said that members of the Post decided to open their building as a donation drop-off center.
“We got the word out to receive donations on social media and by contacting media outlets,” Lambert said. “We received many donations. Most of them came from people who said they heard about our efforts from the TV and radio stations.”
Lambert said Post 1970 received and donated:
- 12,096 bottles of water.
- About 1,000 pounds of non-perishable and dry food.
- 25 medium boxes worth of hygiene products.
“The biggest thing we heard was needed by the community was water,” Lambert said. “We were happy to be able to help out with that.”
Members of the Post also decided to provide meals at the Post to the victims affected by the tornado. Through the week, Post members and other volunteers visited affected areas to help clear properties of fallen trees and debris. Lambert said there were about 25 volunteers from the VFW Department of Tennessee; the Department’s Districts 6 and 7; Post 6022 in Tuscaloosa, Ala.; and other organizations.
Lambert said a lot of the efforts were organized because of social media.
“I would say that the best way to communicate information during a disaster is through social media,” he said. “It’s a media source that you can control and people can spread the word for you. It’s the easiest way to get the word out quickly to a large amount of people.”
This article is courtesy of VFW National Chaplain Jim Jenkins, and is featured in the March/April 2020 issue of VFW Checkpoint. If you’re a Post, District or Department Commander and aren’t receiving the Checkpoint e-newsletter, please contact the VFW magazine at firstname.lastname@example.org.