James Island church returns after helping tornado victims

JAMES ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - A truck loaded to the brim with donations delivered more than just supplies to tornado victims in Henryville, Indiana, it delivered hope.

Members of Harbor Light Baptist Church on James Island returned Sunday after making the 600-mile trip to help out others.

"You really have to see that to grasp the devastation there," said Pastor Keith Burgess." "Pictures just can't get the depth to do it justice."

Burgess saw the aftermath of a tornado's power first hand when delivering supplies.

"You can see the direct path of that tornado and it's something," he said. "I had to pull off the road. It struck me emotionally."

Burgess, along with a handful of church volunteers, drove a truck loaded to the brim with supplies in a relief effort for victims of a twister 600 miles away in Henryville, Ind.

The church group passed out paper towels, tarps, bottled water and clothes to those who are still sorting through what's left of their homes in the town of less than 2,000 people.

It felt to me like they were shell shocked and they still didn't wrap their minds around what had happened.

Images of the tornado tearing through Henryville High School show the pure strength of Mother Nature.

The tall ceilings of the school's gym were no match for the winds. As quickly as the wall imploded, the debris ripped back outside, leaving a skeleton.

What once was, is now completely gone.

The pastor says those who gave supplies to support complete strangers also gave hope that all is not lost.

"We joined together to accomplish something we could never accomplish apart and I am so grateful to be a part of the caring community and the community really showed themselves to be generous," he said. "The privilege is really ours and I walked away with a sense that I was the one that was blessed. To be a part of that. The people were so appreciative - you could see the greatness that welled up in them when we could give them the help that we did."

To continue giving to those who lost most of what they owned, you can make donations to Harbor Light Baptist Church. The number is 843-795-4611.

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