Even as the tornado ravaged Mayflower Arkansas on Sunday evening, April 28, the members of the American Taekwondo Association (ATA) began showing why they are often heard saying they are “ATA STRONG!” Less than 12 hours after the tornado struck, the call went out across the “ATA Nation” to gather help for those impacted by the F3 Tornado that destroyed a major section of Mayflower, a town just 20 minutes north of the Little Rock Headquarters of the ATA. The effort to reach out and help others is nothing new to the members of the ATA, an organization that consistently shows the world what it means to be a martial artist today.
Collections are being organized and executed with great speed in schools across the country. Aid efforts are being reported in locations from Seattle Washington to Miami Florida. All of these efforts are being organized by the owners and families of an ATA school with the resulting materials and supplies being targeted for shipment to Arkansas ATA Martial Arts and other schools in the immediate vicinity of the devastation. Collections include monetary donations to the Red Cross, hygiene supplies, clothing, trash bags and even children’s toys and items.
American Taekwondo Association schools all over the nation are rallying to help those who have had their lives impacted by the tornado in Mayflower. From individual schools such as Coffrin’s ATA Martial Arts in Bloomington Illinois to groups of schools working in cooperation like the Central Indiana ATA Martial Arts Schools, the ATA family is working hard to extend a helping hand. As suddenly as the tornado struck, the members of the ATA are striking back to help rebuild what has been lost. The effort and the widespread nature of the support shows the power and level of caring that helps define the membership of the American Taekwondo Association.