MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa -- Mother nature can quickly bring humility. "There isn't one of us that isn't one disaster away from going down on our knees," said Pam Strobbe, board president for the House of Compassion.
The EF-3 tornado made Marshalltown buckle in July and continues to dig into the community heading towards November. "You have families now where money they've saved for Christmas is now being put into building a home," said House of Compassion director March Running.
The House of Compassion typically assists homeless and low-income families year round with daily necessities, warm meals and showers. The tornado added another layer of need within the community. Running said, "Either their homes were damaged or they lost their jobs because main street was devastated and businesses have closed."
A year ago they assisted 149 families in their annual Holiday Adopt-a-Family program but after the tornado they expect over 900 additional individuals and families this season. "This may be the first time they've ever been in need and it's on no part of their own. Mother nature got involved," said Running.
Continual work on the Marshall County Courthouse proves the tornado's path did not discriminate and neither does the House of Compassion. Despite there being many working families that may have never needed help before they hope the come forward. Strobbe said, "Don't deny someone in your family a hot meal, a warm shower. Please come in we will help as much as we can. Don't let pride get in your way."
The tornado's strength can still be seen but it will be the power of the community's strength that can overcome. Running said, "We want to make sure they have what they need to have the merriest Christmas they can possibly have with their families."
Any family in need of assistance that has been impacted by the tornado can sign up at the House of Compassion from Wednesday October 31 until November 3rd. If you would like to adopt-a-family, contact the organization at (641) 752-5999.