Tornado season is upon us, and for Sheep Dog Impact Assistance (SDIA) that means being ready to hit the road with chainsaws, tarps and able bodies to assist communities in need at a moment’s notice. On Friday, April 10, at 4:00PM, that’s exactly what happened. SDIA deployed a team of six Northwest Arkansas members and volunteers who headed north to Illinois to help the community of Kirkland, one of a few areas ravaged by tornadoes.

Once in northern Illinois, the NWA team met up with other SDIA members from Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri and Tennessee and went to find people to help. Following the path of the tornado, the team saw areas that were virtually untouched – like a mobile home park in Rochelle – as well as areas with larger homes that were completely destroyed. Finding the Kirkland neighborhood gave the SDIA team the opportunity to assist residents by clearing downed trees, covering leaking windows and roofs, and talking with its citizens. To view more photos from the mission, visit our Facebook Album.

Disaster response missions are just one of many ways SDIA gives back to communities and fellow Sheep Dogs, the men and women who make up our nation’s military and first responder professions. Because society’s helpers sometimes need help themselves due to an injury or medical issue, a family hardship, or other unexpected crisis, SDIA provides “impact assistance” that fosters growth and healing for all involved. Programs include peer group and mentoring/transition assistance, continued service opportunities, holiday programs and team-building activities.

SDIA is funded solely by the generosity of the public and their corporate sponsors. We receive no federal or local government backing, and all donations and fundraising proceeds are used to fund our various programs. To make a tax-deductible donation, please visit our Donate page.image8 image4 image5image7 image10