In the Eye of Chaos: Bridges Community Action Partnership’s Heroic Response to Tornado Disaster

Pictured from left to right: Lindsay Scites, Madison County Navigator and Cassi Fultz, Shelter Manager/Lead Navigator at Multi-agency resource center.

In the aftermath of a tornado that left a trail of devastation and loss, Bridges Community Action Partnership (Bridges) rallied unwavering support to offer a unified and dedicated response to meet new community needs.

On the evening of March 14, 2024, a tornado that the National Weather Service later designated as EF3 tore through the Indian Lake region, claiming three lives, injuring dozens, and damaging a multitude of homes, according to an article by The Columbus Dispatch. Bridges—who serves Champaign, Delaware, Logan, Madison, Shelby, and Union counties—described the level of need for all affected by the tornado as critical.

“Bridges is witnessing a critical demand for support from the community, with many families left homeless and in need of shelter, food, clothing, and medical assistance,” said a Bridges representative. “Emotional support and counseling services are also urgently required, as people grapple with trauma and loss.”

Bridges addressed this demand by swiftly mobilizing resources and coordinating with local authorities and community organizations. Together, these groups distributed essential supplies, such as gas cards for generators, Kroger gift cards for food and personal needs, and minor car repairs, including windshield replacement.

In addition to resources, Bridges has implemented several initiatives and programs to support families who lost their homes in the disaster. Their temporary housing program connects families with emergency shelters or transitional housing, while Bridge’s partnerships also provide financial assistance and essential household items to “help tornado victims stabilize their living situations and begin the process of rebuilding their lives in the aftermath of the disaster,” said a Bridges representative.

Pictured Above: Logan County Navigator Mitch Marshall

Through a partnership with The United Way of Logan County, Bridges helped establish a multi-agency resource center to connect disaster victims with their programs and identify unmet needs. According to an article by WSYX ABC 6, 400 households visited the resources center in the first 10 days. The Bridges staff has worked diligently to assist every community member who approached their booth. One staff member, Logan County Navigator Mitch Marshall, has been at the resource center every day since the tornado struck.

From dedicated staff to volunteers to partners like United Way—which recently announced the 1 million dollars it has received for the tornado relief fund—the community has come together in this time of great adversity.

“There’s a notable call for community solidarity and collaboration in recovery efforts, with individuals coming together to offer assistance, donate supplies, and volunteer time to help neighbors rebuild and recover,” said a Bridges representative.

Community members can learn about Bridges’ recovery efforts through various channels. Bridges utilizes its website and Facebook to share real-time updates, stories of impact, and upcoming events related to the recovery efforts. Local news outlets and community newsletters may also cover Bridges’ activities and provide information on how community members can get involved or access support services.