Published: Jun 10, 2011 4:39 PM EDT
Updated: Jun 10, 2011 4:39 PM EDT

FORT MYERS, Fla.-Volunteers and workers from our local Salvation Army just returned from helping tornado victims in Alabama. It's been more than a month since the tornado ripped through Tuscaloosa and other parts of the state but people are still struggling. Thousands of tornado victims in Alabama share the same story.

Their homes ripped apart in a flash. But thanks to some local volunteers, their spirit can't be broken.

For some, the pictures are hard to look at.

"You're not prepared for anything like that," said Merrilu Bennett from the Salvation Army of Lee, Hendry and Glades counties. She went to Alabama to assist tornado victims.

"I saw a lot of destruction, chaos and debris."

Bennett went with other local volunteers on May 11th.

For two weeks, they travelled through flattened neighborhoods to offer what aid they could. For many victims, water, food, clothes helped but volunteers found it was a simple human connection that made the difference.

"She hugged a lot of people and she prayed with a lot of people because that's really all she could do and believe it or not that really helped so many tornado survivors gave them hope," said Bennett.

In a time of desperation, Bennett says hope is all these people have. Some are still recovering from the worst experiences of their lives.

"I talked to the Asst. Fire Chief. He had survived but all his neighbors had been killed and he had to go across the street to find them. As Asst. Fire Chief he's trained to deal with disaster but there's nothing that can train you for what he saw."

Local volunteers are still helping in alabama. If you want to help you contact the salvation army. Monetary donations are also welcome.