Facebook page that reunited victims with pictures shutting down - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Facebook page that reunited tornado victims with pictures shutting down

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(Source: Pictures and Documents found after the April 27, 2011 Tornadoes) (Source: Pictures and Documents found after the April 27, 2011 Tornadoes)
Patty Bullion with her three children. (Source: Patty Bullion) Patty Bullion with her three children. (Source: Patty Bullion)

LESTER, AL (RNN) - For eight months, Patty Bullion has made it her full time job to reunite victims of the April Southeastern tornado outbreak with their memories.

Her Facebook page "Pictures and Documents found after the April 27, 2011 Tornadoes" became a gathering place for people to post pictures they found in the aftermath in the storm, as well as for victims to reclaim photos ripped from their homes, sometimes thrown hundreds of miles away.

Now that many of the victims have moved on from that day, she says it's time for her to move on, too.

Bullion will be shutting the page down in the next few weeks because she says pictures are no longer being claimed. She also says a lot of her emails have bounced back  and that she's no longer able to get in touch with many of the people who have posted pictures.

"Somebody asked 'Why not leave it up?' I don't feel like it should be left up forever. These people's lives don't need to be forever displayed as a tornado victim," she said.

"I just feel like, for privacy reasons and to let people move on, those pictures don't need to stay out there forever. I wouldn't want something of mine out there for forever."

The page returned more than 2,000 pictures to their owners or, sometimes, family members of people who died in the tornado outbreak.

Bullion found and re-united the family of Maxine Chism with a picture of her and her late husband that hung in a frame on the wall of her home. Chism was thrown from the home during the tornado that touched down in Smithville, MS. She died from her injuries on May 20.

While the page is coming down, her mission to get people's pictures back to them will continue for a little while. In the next few months, she plans to personally travel to Phil Campbell, AL and Hackleburg, AL, some of the hardest hit areas, to let locals look through what's left of the pictures.

"I want to do that one last push because I have a large box of pictures and I want to do everything I can to get them home," she said.

The stories that have emerged and the people she's "met" through the page have interwoven themselves in to the fabric of her heart. She says the page has been a "huge success" and that she's met some lifelong friends through the project that she's poured days, weeks, and months of her life into.

"It went so much further than I ever thought it would. It's been a blessing," she said.

"I have put a lot of hours into it but it's been a labor of love and I have loved every minute of it. I was very blessed to have been a part of this."

Copyright 2011 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

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