send love to tuscaloosa

by jenna on May 2, 2011

If you’ve read my blog for awhile, you probably know by now that Tuscaloosa was my home for a year.

In reality, a year really isn’t that long and memories I have of my time there are slowly growing a little fuzzy around the edges. What I do remember though with absolute clarity about Tuscaloosa was the spirit there.

I remember waking up early on Saturday mornings, putting on my cocktail dress and rainbow flip-flops and tailgating all day with my sorority sisters. I remember dancing late into the night after a big win and the next day waking up with blisters all over my feet and a pounding headache. I remember taking late night drives through the TCBY with my best friend, Amari, to get white chocolate mousse with chocolate chips. I remember sorority formals and bus trips and falling asleep in a chair at the library while studying for my Shakespeare midterm. I remember countless shopping trips to Birmingham. I remember crying on the sidelines when Auburn beat us. I remember getting so homesick that I finally got on a plane and flew home to Florida, but later found myself missing Tuscaloosa so much it hurt.

We are so blessed to have houses, clothes and food on the table. Some people, just like us, are being forced to completely start over with their lives…and they need help.

If anyone has anything they are willing to donate (diapers, bottled water, garbage bags, flashlights, bottles, hygiene products, canned food…anything!) please send to this address:

UA Greek Relief Drive

846 Magnolia Drive

Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35487

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{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin May 2, 2011 at 1:45 pm

I forgot you lived in Tuscaloosa. I think its wonderful you’re using your blog to support relief efforts there!

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Holly @ The Runny Egg May 2, 2011 at 1:47 pm

My sister went to grad school in Tuscaloosa a few years ago so Tuscaloosa has a special place in my family’s heart as well.

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Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) May 2, 2011 at 1:48 pm

Jenna, thank you for this post and for encouraging people to donate.

On lighter matters, the pic of you is great! I wish I had my old sorority formal pics or even my prom pics on digital. I have no idea where they are…whoops :)

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Heather at Heather's Dish May 2, 2011 at 1:49 pm

I did graduate work through UA and even though I never set foot on campus I fell in love! My thoughts and prayers are definitely there now!

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Ruth May 2, 2011 at 1:50 pm

I agree with Beth – what a great tribute to your time spent there.

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Emily May 2, 2011 at 2:06 pm

Thank you, Jenna! I speak on behalf of the entire Tuscaloosa community when I say thank you for this post. Tuscaloosa has become my community and family during my undergrad and post-graduate studies, and I can truly say I have never been more proud of my city. The spirit you mention is alive more than ever now as the campus and city have united to help those whose lives and families were destroyed last week. God bless and Roll Tide Roll!

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Summer May 2, 2011 at 2:25 pm

Jenna, I’m a Gadsden native who has called Birmingham home for the last several years. The people of Alabama (and the South as a whole) are hurting…and every little bit helps! I encourage everyone to consider contributing to the cause, by making a text donation or even just giving blood. Large parts of or great state just look like wasteland after the destruction from this past week.

Thanks again!

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Mom May 2, 2011 at 2:40 pm

I remember, along with your father, the year you spent there . . . I honor you for your blog, and we will do what we can to help. What a great city and college ~ with so much spirit! I am loving that Auburn has stepped up to the plate. That shows the great character that they have as well.

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Baking 'n' Books May 2, 2011 at 4:40 pm

“I honor you for your blog”…what a Mom. Amazing. ;)

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French Heart May 2, 2011 at 8:04 pm

Ditto to Jenna’s Mom ‘will do what can to help” and to Baking ‘n’ Books ‘what a Mom…Amazing.’ Like mother, like daughter. <3<3<3 to Tuscaloosa/Auburn et al.

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Moni'sMeals May 2, 2011 at 3:07 pm

great job thinking to post this. Of course we will help. I am on it and glad you have the platform to get more help. :)

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Emily May 2, 2011 at 3:10 pm

Tuscaloosa and all of the hard hit areas in Alabama need help. Thanks for posting this. I am an Auburn alum living in Birmingham and Alabama is my home state. Jenna, the spirit you talk about is still in Tuscaloosa and all over the state as we all try to help our neighbors who are hurting from these horrible storms. Every little bit helps.

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Emily May 2, 2011 at 3:13 pm

I was also in a soroity and even though most of the houses on campus were not damaged, I know that some sisters lost their lives. I know my sorority, Gamma Phi Beta, lost a sister. People think sororities are about buying friends, but they are about life long friendships and helping other sisters wheter you know them or not.

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Ashley May 2, 2011 at 3:27 pm

Jenna, Thanks so much for bringing light to the awful situation that the southeast is experiencing right now. As an Auburn alum (War Eagle!), it is obvious that there is much more to life than a football rivalry and Tuscaloosa (and all of the places affected by the tornados) needs prayers, donations, and service. My husband and I live in Huntsville, AL now and just a few blocks away there are complete neighborhoods gone.

As much as it pains me to say this, (just kidding) Roll Tide, Jenna and thanks for this post and your support. :)

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Amy May 2, 2011 at 3:30 pm

Thank you for posting this. As an Alabama native (from Montgomery), I have been absolutely heartbroken by the loss and devastation that has happened in my home state. I didn’t go to UA, but I have family who did. I’m a lifelong Bama fan and have been to several games in Tuscaloosa, and I just love the atmosphere of the town. I am in Atlanta now, but am trying to get the resources to help out my fellow Alabamians. God bless and ROLL TIDE, ROLL!

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Krystina (Organically Me) May 2, 2011 at 3:31 pm

I’ll definitely be sending goods.

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Mary @ Bites and Bliss May 2, 2011 at 3:34 pm

Being that I graduated in AL, many of my friends live in Tuscaloosa. One of them stayed with me a few nights after the tornado hit. It’s so sad what happened there but I’m glad my friends made it out alright.

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kaila @ healthy helper! May 2, 2011 at 3:35 pm

This is so sweet Jenna….I applaud your generosity!

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Paige @Running Around Normal May 2, 2011 at 4:00 pm

Thanks for posting this address! I’d love to help out, even if it’s small, at least it’s something, right? <3

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Cait @ Beyond Bananas May 2, 2011 at 4:11 pm

Amazing that you are doing this girl! I will do what I can to help!

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Sarah@The Flying ONION May 2, 2011 at 4:25 pm

So awesome that you’re able to reach out and help, Jenna! This is a great idea.

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Natalia - a side of simple May 2, 2011 at 4:41 pm

Thanks for sharing this, Jenna :) I’m so happy of the way you use your blog. Will do what I can!

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Molly May 2, 2011 at 4:46 pm

Oddly enough every college student has funny library stories! Mine may include a mixed drink and a mannequin head.

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dragonfly180 May 2, 2011 at 4:47 pm

thanks for putting this message out there. i live in mississippi, and as hard as we got hit, alabama got hit even harder. last wednesday was a scary day for many, but now there are a lot of people who have some sad days ahead of them. thanks for trying to make it a little easier for them.

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Christena May 2, 2011 at 5:43 pm

I’m sitting here in Tuscaloosa, crying, reading your blog on my smart phone cause we dont have power. I’m a healthcare worker at the hospital in town and I am safe and grateful but this has been a harrowing experience. Thanks for using your voice to bring attention to this sweet sweet city & the entire southeast.

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MWC May 2, 2011 at 5:45 pm

thank you for supporting a wonderful cause!–from a UA student.

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Carrington May 2, 2011 at 5:46 pm

You have no idea how much this post means to those of us that live in this area. It is complete and utter devestation. I live in Mississippi, and while my own town wan’t hit, towns around me (Tuscaloosa and Birminingham being two of them) were just absolutely demolished. It makes me realize not to take life for granted. These people lost EVERYTHING. It’s unbelievable. Seriously guys, any donation will help out so much! The spirit of all of the surrounding communities has brought tears to my eyes. Thank you again for posting about this!

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Wine Girl (Kitchen Doesn't Travel) May 2, 2011 at 7:05 pm

I’ve been reading your blog for about a year. I guess I didn’t read back far enough to realize you spent some time in T-town. As a native Alabamian, I have to say 1) thanks for the shout out and love – my heart breaks for my home state. And 2) your description of Saturday mornings sounds very familiar. Thanks again for encouraging your readers to help out!

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Allie May 2, 2011 at 8:37 pm

Wow Jenna that is crazy. Must have really hit close to home for you and made you feel so reminiscent. Thank you for sharing.

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amy walters, aDESIGNdock May 2, 2011 at 8:43 pm

Thanks for sharing Jenna. I hope your friends are safe and that the much-needed help is received.
amy*

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Katrina May 2, 2011 at 9:22 pm

I’m sending my love!

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Courtney T. May 3, 2011 at 5:34 am

Thank you for this post… I am speaking directly from Tuscaloosa and want to just send everyone hugs!! We greatly appreciate the heart warming love and prayers that yall are sending :) It is needed… we are still in search and rescue mode, which is just heart breaking.
As many people have said “this is a marathon, not a sprint,” we will need help for months coming.

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Macrae May 3, 2011 at 3:40 pm

Thank you for referencing the tornado devastation. It was pretty horrendous. Even here in Georgia. Thank you for using your broad audience for help! I wish more bloggers had been as thoughtful :)

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Laken May 6, 2011 at 10:53 am

Wow, I didn’t know you lived in Tuscaloosa one time. I live here now – I just graduated and I’m about to start grad school here. It’s been my home since 2006 and I hate to see it in this kind of devastation.

We have started an online fundraiser for Alabama to reach out to the blogging community. It’s called Shelter For The South — http://www.shelterforthesouth.com

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