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  • Writer's pictureKristal Kuykendall

Saturday, 4/15: Day 15 of Tornado Recovery & the People of Wynne Still Desperately Need Help

On Wednesday April 12, the Rural Caucus of Arkansas and volunteers from several sister organizations traveled to Wynne to assist in tornado recovery efforts.

To say that Wynne direly needs an extraordinary influx of help to recover in the most basic ways is the understatement of the year. Photos and videos simply do not do justice to the catastrophic aftermath of the tornado that hit Wynne.

Thanks to generous donations collected from Ms. Trammel’s class at Malvern High School and several central Arkansas residents, we were able to deliver much-needed supplies to two relief centers in Wynne. Our friends in the Arkansas Democratic Black Caucus graciously sent a financial donation. This gift along with the individual donations we have received for tornado victims have enabled Rural Caucus disaster recovery team volunteers to help many more Arkansans in

Wynne, Cabot, Sherwood, North Little Rock, and Little Rock. Because of your generosity we were able to load up a trailer and vehicles with cases of water, snacks, shoes, clothing, non-perishable food, coats, and canned foods.

Madere Touré with Afrobites donated hot meals on Wednesday, and it was an honor to serve our neighbors in Wynne alongside Chris Jones with the Vortex PAC, Kenneth Leon Grand III with Arkansas Progressive Democrat Caucus, the Islamic Center for Human Excellence, and Operation Blessing.

During our time in Wynne, we were able to see firsthand the extreme devastation from the March 31 tornado disaster. It is truly astounding and tragic. Wynne tornado survivors will be cleaning up the wreckage from this storm for the next year — and they need so much more help.

Since the mission of the Rural Caucus is to uplift rural Arkansans, we intend to rally additional support and keep showing up to help our neighbors in Wynne in any capacity that is needed.

As with many disaster recovery efforts, the focus of the “official” aid organizations is often centralized in one area, and those major aid efforts tend to be more accessible in the more populated areas. For those reasons, our intent was to seek out the most underserved locations hit by the tornado. We certainly identified it during our visit this week: Ward 4 in Wynne has suffered destruction the likes of which we have never seen.

We will be working closely with Wynne City Council Member Stevie Nelson for Ward 4 to ensure that the hardest-hit residents in Wynne have access to as many resources as we can provide or point them to.

The Rural Caucus will be going back to Wynne on May 13 to help the residents in Ward 4. We will be assisting with debris cleanup, helping residents fill out paperwork, offering counseling services, providing hot meals, and much more.

We invite you to join us and to share this post — and please click “interested” or “going”” on the Facebook event, it helps spread the word about our efforts just with an RSVP — for the May 13 Wynne clean-up day with your friends and family. It is vital that we show up for our neighbors — not only in days or weeks following a disaster such as this, but for as long as it takes. Till they have safe, dry housing again. Till their basic living necessities are accessible again in Wynne. There is so much work to be done there, friends.

Thank you for supporting our recovery efforts thus far — either by showing up, donating, or sharing our posts on social media. Arkansas is stronger when we all work together.


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