In the midst of a storm, the last thing many of us witness is beauty. However, one Brainerd area couple saw just that in the hours, days and weeks following the July 12th storm that hit the Lakes Area this past summer.
Tom and Marlene Larson have called this area home for over 50 years. But never has the Brainerd couple witnessed a disaster matching the magnitude of the storm on Sunday, July 12, 2015.
During the storm, the Larsons had three layers of trees fall on the west side of two garages, leaving gaping holes in the roof and a daunting job of clearing.
Despite the irreplaceable damage to property and the emotional toll it took on so many, Tom and Marlene noted that it was an opportunity for community to come together and witness the generosity and giving spirit of so many willing to step forward in times of need.
“We were so thankful to have little damage to our home, but we hardly had a tree left on our property,” Marlene noted. “It took six of us to open our driveway.”
“Yes, it was severe. Yes, there was much damage. But this has brought neighborhoods together. We think of this as ‘people helping people.’”
Within days following the storm, crews arrived to help cover the holes in the roof with tarps. Bottled water and snacks were delivered, and the Larsons reached out to Bridges of Hope for additional assistance.
Fulfilling the call, Bridges of Hope partnered with local emergency services personnel to provide volunteers and necessary resources to those impacted by the storm; as well as providing spiritual, mental and emotional support to individuals and families just like Tom and Marlene’s.
Marlene shared, “It’s an appropriate name, as they were ready to assist our needs – emotional and physical.”