Community banding together to help after tornado wrecks Mardela Springs home
MARDELA SPRINGS, Md. – After a tornado sent her home sliding off its foundation Tuesday morning, Joy Mitchell says she feels lucky to be alive. “Thank God I wasn’t hurt. No broken bones or anything like that. I’m just thankful to God that I’m still here,” said Mitchell.
Wednesday – friends and family of Joy Mitchell went to work as they picked up the pieces around Mitchell’s property. “We’ve all known each other since elementary school and any time something comes up – whether its within our group of wildcats or elsewhere – we start moving,” said long-time friend Lisa Layfield.
Mitchell says she was inside her home when she saw the wind pick up her patio furniture – and within a matter of minutes she found herself thrown to the ground by strong winds. “It just stopped like you put the brakes on and it just slammed me to the floor. It held me down there and I could feel the house move up. I got my wits together and got up,” said Mitchell.
Mitchell says a neighbor rushed to check on Mitchell and managed to help her get out before she was taken to the hospital. “He came to the bedroom window and started hollering in ‘Is anybody here? Are you okay?’ and I said ‘Yeah I’m here and I’m okay’. He said ‘Can you get out?’ and I said ‘No the doors are shut,'” said Mitchell.
Physically – Mitchell tells 47ABC she’s feeling okay. But the experience has her shaken up. Meanwhile, her friends say that now that they know Mitchell is safe – they’re focusing on helping her in any way possible, whether it be clearing debris from the property – or setting up a fundraiser. “The first thing I thought of is we have to make sure she’s taken care of and I reached out to the group that we fund raise with and got it up and got it moving,” said Layfield.
Despite the home being a total loss – Mitchell says that seeing her friends and community come together to help her so quickly has been overwhelming. “I always tell my kids you do good and good comes home to you. I believe that because people have reached out and it really touched my heart,” said Mitchell.
Mitchell says the community has stepped in to help in a number of ways other than the fundraiser. Delmar Pizza donated food, one of her friends is renting a large dumpster for clean up, and a neighbor brought a shed to keep salvageable items safe. If you’d like to donate to the fundraiser – you can find it here.