Not my town

Dayton, Ohio Tornado

This week my heart has been heavy. The day after the tornadoes hit Dayton, Ohio I drove into Beavercreek. I was naive enough to think that I would be going to Target to pick up some curtains… Boy was I wrong! I underestimated the devastation that the tornadoes had caused my town. I couldn’t help but get choked up as I drove the detour route on roads that I’d never driven on before. These roads where covered in tree limbs & debris, the houses on them were much shabbier than just a mere few hours before. The owners were standing in their yards, shuffling, unsure of what to do, or how to feel. Total shock.
It felt like a lie. This couldn’t happen here. Not my town.

“Your life can change in an instant.” Isn’t that what they say. Yeah, you don’t really get what that means until you’re clinging to your family, as the threat of “a large and very dangerous tornado” blowing through your neighborhood is literally hanging in the air.
Your concern for all your possessions goes by the wayside as you pray and beg that God will spare your family and all the people you love. I’m not sure how many times I said, “Please Jesus, please Jesus, please Jesus” on Monday night. Too many to count.

My hands shook uncontrollably as I held my sleeping baby in our basement. The lightening was relentless and I swear I heard the whooshing of something outside the windows. Luckily when we emerged from the basement everything was in its place, not even a limb in the yard. Some, unfortunately, were not so lucky. As I found that next morning.
What I’ve also found is how amazing our community is. Dayton is called the Gem City for a reason and that is, no matter how much pressure falls on us, we just use that pressure to create something positive. I’ve seen so much kindness and willingness to help, it’s inspiring!

I’ve been trying to think what I can do to help my community after the devastation of the tornadoes this week, along with volunteering and donating. I’ll be doing the following two things…

1. I’m going to offer a number of free sessions to families who lost their family photos from this week’s tornadoes. You can nominate yourself or someone you know. Please nominate only those who are in the specific situation of losing their old family photos. Nominations can be emailed to- ashley@ashleylynnphoto.com

2. I will be offering mini sessions on Thursday, June 13th and all proceeds will go towards helping the victims of the tornadoes through the Greater Dayton Disaster Relief Fund. There will be a donation of $50 for a 10 minute session and 5 images.

#daytonstrong #beavercreekstrong

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