Shelby County woman using power of social media to help reunite storm survivors with their missing memories

Published: Jan. 18, 2023 at 6:25 AM CST|Updated: Jan. 18, 2023 at 1:40 PM CST
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SHELBY COUNTY, Ala. (WBRC) - Last week’s severe storms in Alabama sent debris and belongings as high as 15,000 feet in the air. Now an effort is underway to try and reunite people with their lost items, including sentimental pictures.

A picture captured a JROTC at a parade years ago in Montgomery of Margie Burk and her late husband. It was taken when they got married in 1969. A frozen moment weathered by time. And in this case also by Mother Nature.

The Burk’s picture was found a few blocks away from their home, which was destroyed in Selma after the recent tornado. The storm sent precious memories from the attic flying in the wind.

“It took the roof entirely off of my house. My ceilings are now falling in upstairs, and half of my chimney is in the backyard,” Margie said.


WBRC Exclusive: Drone video of tornado damage in Selma

Someone posted the Burk’s picture in a Facebook group where you’ll find plenty of pictures and other items found after storms. In an attempt to reunite them with their owners. Lori Rikard created the group in 2021 after storms hit Shelby County.

“I’m thrilled to death that I can be a conduit to connect people and help them locate the people finding their items. It’s a huge blessing to me, “Rikard said.

The group is having tremendous success in finding the rightful owners.

Margie is more than grateful.

“It’s very meaningful. My husband died two years ago. I’m just ready excited that people are taking the time to do that and help those of us that were so affected by all of this. It’s just kind of amazing. Technology has its good points, doesn’t it?” Margie said.

The picture from the parade... Well, it’s on its way back to Marbury in Autauga County after travelling nearly 30 miles and landing in Cecilia Barret’s driveway in Rockford in Coosa County.


“When you’ve lost everything and having people that care enough to want to return the items is really something special to see,” Rikard said.

Letters from a solider in Iraq were also found in Coosa County. Someone is also looking for a baby shawl that went missing that’s been a part of a family for four generations.

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