Tuesday, November 29, 2016

#PrepWithPurpose - Prayers For Gatlinburg

Hey Fit Fam,

East Tennessee will always be "home sweet home" to me. I was born and raised in a very small East Tn town about 1 1/2 hours from the city that leads the news today .. Gatlinburg, Tn.

Growing up, a summer wasn't complete without a trip to Dollywood. Fall wouldn't be Fall unless you drove to the mountains to see all the beautiful foliage. It wasn't Christmas if you didn't at least drive through Pigeon Forge and see the lights.

I have so many fond memories of that area. When I worked in TV News (I was a news anchor and reporter at WVLT in Knoxville for years) - I covered endless stories there. One of my favorite was a "santa" story where we helped provide for some families in need. My husband and I rented a cabin and spent our one year anniversary there. I also lived in downtown Gatlinburg the summer after my freshman year of college. The guy I was dating at the time was from that area. I had no reason to stay in Johnson City (where I attended college) and no reason to go back "home" to Campbell County. So I got a job as a server at the downtown TGIFridays and lived in a small apartment above my boyfriends parents business.

As I sit here at my home in Las Vegas .. I've been glued to the TV for the last 24 hours ... seeing the city that holds a special place in my heart ... up in flames on every major news network. As far as I know, all of the people I personally know are safe. But they just broke news that 3 people have died. It's simply heartbreaking.

The mayor said "If you are a person of prayer. We could use your prayers." So that is what we will do.

PREP WITH PURPOSE this week will be dedicated to anyone affected by this disaster. As I lift this week .. I will lift up and for the city, the thousands of people/pets evacuated, the businesses and all the workers fighting the fire, part of search and rescue, cleaning up, etc.

Many celebrities have made statements, including my favorite lady Dolly Parton, who is from this area. Here is what she had to say about this disaster:

"I have been watching the terrible fires in the Great Smoky Mountains and I am heartbroken.  I am praying for all the families affected by the fire and the firefighters who are working so hard to keep everyone safe. It is a blessing that my Dollywood theme park, the DreamMore Resort and so many businesses in Pigeon Forge have been spared." – Dolly Parton

As you head out to the gym, get up to do your morning cardio, or go about your day -- I ask that you do it with purpose. Lift up and for this town so special .. to so many.


UPDATE 11/30/16

Dolly Parton announces My People Fund.
“I’ve always believed charity begins at home and my home is some place special,” Parton explained. “That’s why I’ve asked my Dollywood Companies—including the Dollywood theme park, and DreamMore Resort; my dinner theater attractions including Dixie Stampede and Lumberjack Adventure; and my Dollywood Foundation—to help me establish the My People Fund.
“We want to provide a hand up to those families who have lost everything in the fires. I know it has been a trying time for my people and this assistance will help get them back on their feet.”
Anyone who would like to contribute to the My People Fund may visit dollywoodfoundation.org.
More information on the program will be released on Friday, December 2.

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