ALBANY, GA (WALB) - A Dougherty County woman, who lost everything in the Valentine's Day Tornado of 2000 in Camilla, is on a mission to uplift South Georgia storm victims.
Jamaica Allen has handed out care packages, but she considers her story of survival one of her major assets when it comes to inspiring those who have lost everything.
"All I can remember is tossing and turning," said Allen. "My head was hitting the ground and the house exploded with us in it."
Allen was in the direct path of the Valentine's Day Tornado of 2000. She was in Camilla, when the sound she compares to stampeding horses preceded a broken arm and fractured jaw.
"I had to learn how to walk, how to talk, everything all over again," said Allen. "These are just scars."
Those scars healed over wounds after months of therapy.
Allen lost everything, and said she understands how those across South Georgia, devastated by tornadoes, are feeling now.
"It may look dark right now, but its going to be bright," said Allen. "Its going to be bright soon. The sun is going to shine. If you're here, you're here with a purpose."
She says she found her purpose after the debris was picked up and the bruises went away. Allen is married and a mother of four. Lately she's been uplifting storm victims, who need a beacon during dark times.
"It may seem like you don't know what the next few months are going to hold, what you're going to do if you lost your home, will you have somewhere to stay, but its going to be brighter," said Allen. "You're going to get the help you need."
Allen adds that ultimately she's grateful to have built the life she has. The past 17 years haven't all been easy, but she's ended up happy and fulfilled.
Allen said she's also donated her time to give out donations with her church Temple of Refuge EPC.
That church along with other Religious groups are hosting a free benefit concert in Albany Saturday.
The Temple of Refuge Church is sponsoring it and Mount Zion Baptist Church is hosting.
Nationally known gospel singer John P. Kee will be performing.
It's Saturday at Mount Zion Baptist Church on South Westover Boulevard.
Doors open at 5:45 and the concert begins at 6:30.