The senior senator from Massachusetts has made a personal fundraising appeal to help residents in his home state who are struggling in the aftermath of the tornadoes that ripped through Bay State towns last week.
Democratic Sen. John Kerry emailed his roster of supporters Wednesday, soliciting contributions to the local Red Cross in western Massachusetts, where separate tornadoes struck neighborhoods in Springfield and neighboring towns, reportedly killing four and causing widespread damage.
“A few hours after the tornadoes ripped through western Massachusetts, I almost couldn’t believe what I was seeing with my own two eyes in front of me: homes ripped apart, schools and businesses so badly damaged they would be condemned just days later, and, worst of all, Mayor Gibson and Police Chief Burke of West Springfield describing to me the injuries and loss of life, including a mother, Angelica Guerrero, who was killed protecting her daughter. It shook all of us to our core,” Kerry says in his email, sent to his national distribution list built from his 2004 bid for the White House.
“When I walked into a shelter around midnight that night, people were looking at cellphone pictures of the wreckage where their homes had stood just hours before, and many were trying to explain to their young children how something like this could happen. I arrived at Union Street in West Springfield hours after the tornado to find it completely destroyed, buildings demolished and houses literally tossed on top of other buildings,” Kerry adds.
Damage included a church in Monson, Mass., which was founded in 1762 but was left “with its beautiful steeple toppled to the ground,” he says.
“We have a long way to go – but we will rebuild – and we will come back stronger. I’ll be back again and again, but even while all of us in Massachusetts are working with state and federal officials to get relief delivered right away, I hope you’ll help me send a message back home that all of us – all the millions of folks on this email list from around the country – are pulling together,” Kerry says.
Kerry’s personal appeal is in addition to what the senator is doing in an official capacity to help storm victims.
Interested people can donate online here.
Scott Nance is the editor and publisher of the news site The Washington Current. He has covered Congress and the federal government for more than a decade.