MILLEDGEVILLE — As reports of devastation and destruction from a series of violent tornadoes and floods that ripped through Oklahoma flashed on the television screen, Thomas Trawick Jr.’s heart responded.
“For two nights straight I couldn’t sleep. I tossed and turned, thinking about how that tornado tore up communities and neighborhoods,” said Trawick.
He knew he had to put forth some type of effort to offer relief for the victims.
“I am all about fundraising and fellowship,” said Trawick. “I just had to do something for the people suffering over there and I knew I wasn’t going to be able to rest until I achieved that goal.”
When he began his fundraising campaign he searched for words of inspiration to not only help him in his efforts, but also to encourage others to join him in his quest. He looked to the inspiring words of Pres. John F. Kennedy.
“United, there is little we cannot do in a host of cooperative ventures. Divided, there is little we can do - for we dare not meet a powerful challenge at odds and split asunder,” said Kennedy during his inaugural speech.
These powerful words resonated with Trawick in a big way.
“I wanted people to see that by coming together in our efforts, the possibilities of what we could do would be endless,” he said.
Sixty days later, from the moment he began his fundraising efforts, Trawick was standing before fellow veterans and staff members of the Joe T. Wood Building at the Georgia War Veterans home, preparing to tally up the donations collected and to officially present the money to Salvation Army Social Service Director Lisa Bell.
“The need in Oklahoma following the May tornadoes and flooding is great and will not be met overnight, but it’s efforts made by men like Mr. Trawick that make all the difference in the world,” said Bell during the presentation.
Due to the grand scale devastation and loss caused by the May tornadoes, the Salvation Army expects increased requests for all types of financial and material assistance, not only in the next few months, but also through the holidays and into the new year.
Bell explained to everyone that any amount of money goes a long way.
“No donation is too small. For instance, a $10 donation feeds a disaster survivor for one day. A $30 donation provides one food box containing food for a family of four, or one household cleanup kit containing brooms, mops, buckets and other cleaning supplies,” she said.
Trawick raised $764 in donations for the Oklahoma Tornado Relief fund.
“Not bad for an 88-year-old man,” said Trawick as he looked upon the final tally of donations with pride.
Although the total number of donations exceeded his expectations, Trawick’s fundraising days are far from over. He plans to contact local and national community leaders in an effort to accumulate more financial support for the Oklahoma Tornado Relief fund.
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