OPINION: Don’t wait until the next disaster hits to help someone in need


Mia Hennen / The Sunflower

Andover neighborhood residents clean up much of the debris created by the tornado that swept through the town and surrounding areas the previous night.

The Andover tornado was a reminder how important it is to help those in need.

An EF3 tornado destroyed many homes and buildings in Andover and South East Wichita on Friday, April 29. Some people were left hospitalized.

Photos from multiple media organizations show firefighters and families sifting through debris and fallen tree limbs. While a natural disaster is devastating and something that no one wants to face in their lifetime, they have a habit of  bringing people together in the community.

Many organizations and individuals have reached out including to provide shelter, food and clothes. Others have shared Venmo accounts and Go Fund Me pages for those now struggling after facing significant losses.

It is very important that community members support each other in a time like this. It shows that we have care and compassion for human life regardless of differences with one another.

Even when everyone has recovered from the tornado, it’s important that we as a society continue to look out for one another. It’s important to help one another during devastating times but it’s also important to help one another during ordinary life.

That could look like checking in on someone to see how they are doing even if you are only acquaintances. Also, checking in on someone that may not be your favorite person. For example, knocking on your grouchy neighbor’s door and asking if you can help them mow their lawn is a good start.

Volunteering your time to organizations that help people in need shows compassion and care for the struggles others are going through in life. Everyday struggles are sometimes more hidden and not as public as large disasters.

It is ok to have boundaries and keep certain people at a far distance in your life. However, going out of your way to show kindness to those you don’t particularly like or helping those that are in your social circle is beneficial to them and you.

Regardless of differences with one another, we never know when another natural disaster will hit so it is important to always be kind and show regard for others safety and well being. Tomorrow could be the last day you see someone.

My hope for those affected by the tornado is that others will continue to support them and show kindness even after they begin to restart their lives.