Yes. I am thankful. More than usually thankful this Turkey Day. It’s been an amazing six months. And even though CRC, the building, was converted into the Toxic House of Poo, most of what’s happened since the flood in May has been astoundingly positive.
Let’s just take a quick jaunt down memory lane to visit the people I need to thank the most.
First of all, our board president, John Scannapieco. Two days after the flood, we were sitting in Noshville at 7 a.m. John was so agitated that he forgot to order breakfast. “We have to do something,” he said. “This should be our proudest moment! If I have to buy a package of diapers and give it to a flood victim, I will.” John snapped me out of whatever flood-induced coma I was in and set me on the path to find temporary warehouse space. Thanks, John. I needed that figurative slap upside the head.
Next I have to thank Robert Craig of A+ Storage, who gave us our first temporary warehouse space with no questions asked. Over the next few weeks hundreds of relief workers and volunteers trapsed through his extremely elegant facility and all he would ever say was, “Is there anything else I can do for you?” A pearl beyond price.
And then there’s Kim. Whatever would we have done without Kim. Three days after the flood, I called my former colleague from The City Paper and told her I needed a third general. Betsy and I could not handle this alone. “Where do I report?” was her reply. Kim became the logistics person for what would become four warehouses, keeping track of what was coming in and what was going out. And keeping inventory on the more than $6 million in relief and recovery supplies that have flowed through CRC to flood survivors.
So many more people I need to thank. Beth Phillips from Street, Dixon, Rick Architects for designing us a beautiful new space at CRC pro bono, American Constructors who will bring her drawings to life, Junior Achievement and the Airport Authority for donating more warehouse space, Hands On Nashville for working hand-in-hand with us as we crafted our flood relief plan, our regular partners for being unbelievably patient with us because we couldn’t put them first for awhile and some extremely generous private donors who are helping to put CRC back together again.
And then there’s Betsy. What do I say about Betsy?
I could not have a better partner in crime. Here she is the day we first entered CRC after the water had receded. The fellow in charge of clearing out the building told us we would probably cry when we saw the devastation. “We don’t cry,” Betsy told him. “We just look forward.” And we didn’t. We actually laughed because it was so horrendously bad. Through the last six months, Betsy has managed the initial plan to get supplies to flood survivors, has managed our regular partner base and has worn so many other hats I can’t even count them. And she carries off that yellow rubber glove look fairly well, don’t you think?
So here we are. Six months later. We have made many new friends and forged new relationships that I wouldn’t have imagined in May. We have been privileged to serve more flood survivors than I can count at the moment.
We are now Three Chicks in a Warehouse. Chicks, by the way, who needed a good stiff drink after our first week of flood relief and were not ashamed to have one. The first thing Betsy is going to notice is that she’s wearing the same blouse in both her photos. Remember Betsy? Those photos were taken the same day.
I am thankful to everyone who has helped us along this journey and if I listed every one of our angels this blog entry would go on for days. The Chicks thank each and every one of you. You know who you are. And we know who all of us, survivors and relief workers, are. We Are Nashville.