This is a special post to help promote a cause that my wife, Joanna, has started. It has to do with the awful weather that struck and demolished so many cities just this past week. Here is the link

I can still remember every detail on Good Friday 2009. Joanna and I were getting ready to head into Knoxville, and we decided to wait out the coming storm at her parents home. I didn’t even realize a storm was coming. I even check the weather- I never checked the weather. The Weather Channel was playing as we came in, and I suddenly realized how serious the incoming storm was.

We kept one eye on the TV and one eye on the clouds outside.  A funnel cloud had been spotted over Murfreesboro, and as best we could tell, it was headed in our direction. A strange fear set in as I felt so out of control. This wasn’t the feeling you get when you pass a cop car when you speed, its the numbing feeling that reaches from the top of your spine and spreads ice all the way down to your feet.

The tornado missed us by about half of a mile. For me- I had lived in Murfreesboro for almost four years, I had just bought a house, and was beginning to call this city my home. For Joanna- she had lived here her whole life. She knew someone on every street, and had gone to school with  most of their kids.

We spent most of that weekend helping out our neighbors. We literally chainsawed trees out of houses, cleared debris, and helped salvage what we could from other’s houses. Churches opened their doors, but no one came; everyone had already found a place to stay.

Now, two years later, I can absolutely say that we are stronger for it. Houses have been rebuilt, stores are up and running again, and we have moved on with our lives.

Now another awful disaster has struck our country. An estimated 300 are dead,  so many homes are gone, and people are stranded miles away from what they know. I heard an interview on the radio of a woman who had lost her home. The newsman asked her “What do you do now?” and after a long, pensive pause she replied “I dont know”.

“You rebuild it! You make your city better for it!” I screamed at the radio. It was easy for me to have so much hope, I was on the other side of a disaster. She was swimming in the middle of it.

Then, we tried to see if we could help. As we researched the area and saw that The Red Cross was overwhelmed with help. Thats what inspired Joanna and Ashlea to start this site. They decided to use their talents to help in a different way. As both are designers, they went to work on designing T-shirts and the website.

These events are what inspired the term Southern Strong. It portrays the people who are strong enough to pull through any disaster, and the masses of people who dropped whatever they were doing just to help their fellow man. It stirs a certain pride in us that makes us feel like more than just southerners or Americans.

So heres the link once more: Like it on facebook, follow it on twitter, and buy a shirt to help the American Red Cross in helping those who are in need of a helping hand.