On April 27, 2011, a series of tornadoes hit Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Many houses, schools and other buildings were destroyed. Pieces of debris fell from the sky and were sometimes used as stretchers for the injured people. In the South, 297 people were killed. Out of those killed, 210 people lived in Alabama. Many people were reported missing.
As the tornadoes tore through Tuscaloosa, it destroyed a building where Grandmaster Bailey used to teach one of our Tiger Rock Academies. Even though, the building was torn down, GM Bailey was determined to rebuild the same and start teaching the students again. Now, that’s a great example of determination!
I was shocked and felt sad when I heard about the destruction that occurred in Tuscaloosa. When I saw pictures and videos of the destruction, I felt miserable. I felt sorry for those people who lost their homes and I prayed for those who had lost their lives, friends or relatives.
My TaeKwonDo training inspired me to stand up for this cause by being strong and courageous. I wanted to help the people in Tuscaloosa and help rebuild the Tiger Rock Academy. I discussed this idea with my parents and told them that I wanted to donate something towards this cause. I thought about this for a few days and wondered if I could donate all the money that I have in my piggy bank. At first, I was not so sure about this idea. I was reluctant to donate all my savings. I had plans to buy a new Nintendo DS game. But, a few days later, I realized that donating money for a good cause was more important than buying something that I don’t really need immediately. As a result, I took all the money out of my piggy bank ($17.51) and donated it towards rebuilding the Taekwondo Academy in Tuscaloosa.
Our Taekwondo Academy in Cary, North Carolina donated over $1000 in cash. Even though, I did not donate a lot of money, every cent counts! If every student in our academy donated $17.51, we would have donated over $2000!! Many people donated supplies like water bottles, clothes, suitcases, baby diapers, etc.
I felt good that I could contribute my savings in helping out the people in Tuscaloosa. I feel proud about our Taekwondo Academy for helping out the people affected by the tornado and teaching us the importance of standing up for helping the community.
Siddhartha Das, 2nd Degree Level 4 Black Belt