After nearly 100 homes in Boaz were devastated by an EF2 tornado on Easter Sunday, city leaders quickly started a disaster relief fund to aid storm victims.
More than one month later, a local man has elected to donate up to $10,000 to the relief fund.
The man, who has chosen to remain anonymous, said his home and family were affected by the tornado, but unlike some victims, he had insurance to help replace what was lost. Now, the man said he wanted to help those who need it more than he does, and he hopes the contribution inspires others to give.
For every donation made to the fund over the next few weeks, the man has pledged to match the total up to $10,000.
“I want to do this because I want to help those who don’t have insurance,” he said. “I can’t imagine going through this without insurance… You know, a deductible is hard to come up with now for many since there’s been layoffs [due to the COVID-19 pandemic].
“I want these people to know that Jesus loves you,” he continued. “We’re in this together, and we’re going to get through this together … God had his hand over all of us. No one died. That’s a blessing.”
The man said he chose to conceal his identity because his actions were not to prop himself up.
“This is not about me,” he said. “This is just a small fraction of what I feel like God has led me to do to help those in need.”
Jill Johnson, executive director of the Boaz Area Chamber of Commerce, said she was grateful for the man’s generosity.
She said donations to the fund have helped a total of 12 families so far.
“But, you know, often times we’ve helped in ways outside of money — whether it’s clothes, food, a place to live,” Johnson said. “We’ve also helped a family pay bills. We’ll help cover an insurance deductible — anything they need, really.”
The fund was established through Peoples Independent Bank in Boaz, Johnson said. Board members who oversee the use of the funds include Johnson, Sonja Hard, of the Boaz Parks and Recreation Department; Lynn Entrekin, of Spices Smokehouse; Kerry Mitchell, of Chevrolet of Boaz; and DonNeeysa Adams, of Peoples Independent Bank.
Donations to the fund can be delivered to Boaz City Hall, located at 112 N Broad St.; the chamber, located at 100 E Bartlett Ave.; or mailed directly to the chamber (100 Bartlett Ave, Boaz, AL 35957). Checks should be made payable to “Disaster Relief Fund.”
If someone affected by a natural disaster needs assistance, Johnson said to stop by the chamber or call 256-593-8154 for an application or to learn more.