Belongings returned to PC
PHIL CAMPBELL – The woman who has devoted the past eight months to helping tornado victims find pictures or documents that were lost during the April 27 tornadoes will be making a stop in Phil Campbell today to bring a box full of unclaimed items for residents to look through.
Patty Bullion, who started the “Pictures and Documents Found After the April 27, 2011 Tornadoes” Facebook page on April 28, will be at the Phil Campbell Community Center today starting at 9 a.m. for those who would like to search through the unclaimed pictures and documents.
Phil Campbell Mayor Jerry Mays said he will be there with his family to hopefully find items from his mother-in-law’s home that was destroyed by the tornado.
“We’re so appreciative of Patty doing this,” Mays said. “She just took this project on and spearheaded it and dedicated herself to helping these people who lost everything they had. Now, all these months later, she’s still trying to help us.”
Bullion first got the idea for the Facebook page when she logged onto the social networking site the evening of April 27 to check on her family and friends.
She saw that a neighbor had posted that it was raining pictures and Bullion went outside and discovered several pictures in her yard, including an ultrasound picture.
She and her family discussed what to do with the pictures and she finally determined a Facebook page would be the best way to get the word out – an idea that proved to be true since over 98,000 people are currently a fan of the page.
“I knew if I just put [the pictures] on my page the chances of them being identified were very slim,” Bullion said shortly after launching the Facebook page. “I was adopted when I was two and know how precious baby pictures can be, so I couldn’t imagine not trying to find the owners.”
Bullion’s efforts have helped many people throughout the Phil Campbell and East Franklin areas including PCHS senior Shayna Fuguate, who lost everything on April 27 but received several pictures through the mail thanks to Bullion’s page.
“It meant a lot to us to find these pictures because that’s the only thing our family has left to look back at now,” Fugate said in May. “The next day after the tornado hit that’s all we had left to look for – everything was gone. All we wanted was our pictures. The ones we found are damaged but they still have a story behind them.”
Bullion announced earlier this month that she would be taking the Facebook page down after the one-year anniversary of April 27, so anyone who lost personal items during the tornado or whose family was affected by the tornado is encouraged to come to the community center today if they want to reclaim their belongings.
“What Patty has done for this area is just an amazing thing,” Mays said. “Were it not for her, many people wouldn’t have gotten any of these precious pictures and memories back.
“This means so much to the people in this area and we can’t thank her enough for still caring about us enough to spend a whole day trying to help us find our pictures.”