WAAY 31 sat down with a local pastor who is rallying behind tornado survivors in Lee County and wants others to do the same.
He told us he wants to help because he understands what they're going through, after surviving a tornado that ripped through Limestone County back in 2011.
David Tubbs is the pastor at Good Shepherd United Methodist Church—a church that was damaged in an April 2011 tornado that made its mark on Limestone County.
Tubbs now opens the church as a shelter any time a tornado watch or warning is issued, and he says what happened in Lee County really hits close to home.
“It brought back a flood of memories to what happened up here several years ago in 2011," Tubbs said.
When Tubbs heard about the tornado that touched down in Lee County on Sunday, he says he remembered why he does what he does.
“We served meals, we housed folks, we housed FEMA teams, we housed work crews, we collected supplies for everybody," he said.
After the tornadoes that came through North Alabama on April 27, 2011, killing over 100 people and damaging many homes—including Tubbs’—he knew something had to be done.
So, even with damage to the roof, he opened his church as a shelter.
“We felt like it was our job as the church to be helping our community," Tubbs said.
Now, he’s encouraging others to help the folks in Lee County.
“People use this as a time to clean out their closets or something like that. Clothes are rarely needed. I know they need blankets and other supplies," he said.
Tubbs says money and gift cards to home repair stores are always a good idea; but, if you don’t have money to spend, he says there are other options to show support.
“You can go down there and listen to folks. People need to talk about their experience. They need somebody to just sit with them," he said. "Prayers, of course, are always coveted during a time like this.”
Tubbs said the most important thing is to not overwhelm the survivors. Be patient.
“They’re going to need help in two or three days, they’re going to need help in two or three weeks, they’re going to need help in two or three months," he said. "So, maybe your best avenue would be to set up a team and help rebuild, rather than do the recovery.”
Tubbs tells WAAY 31 his church is collecting items and making cleaning buckets for folks down in Lee County.
If you’d like to donate, you can stop by the church this week, between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
Tubbs says they will not be accepting clothes.