Today we had help in the form of Becky Singleton and her friend Dave Radar. It was great. It's so much easier to be the hands and feet, when you have additional hands and feet.
We made a bunch of "Love Bags" full of snacks, soap, towel, trashbags and iced down a huge cooler of water and gatorade (that stuff is NASTY) and headed out.
First up, we went over to the 80+ year old lady's house and pick up the scattered debris in her yard. It looks like NO BIG DEAL until you start to pick it up, and then all the sudden it is overwhelming. There was nary a square inch in this lady's yard that didn't have something on it. Took us an hour, and we only hit the big stuff. 3 of us bent over picking up debris (mainly insulation and splintered 2 x 4's, and shingles, oh my gosh, shingles) and Dave on the rake. What a painstaking, painfully hard on your back, job.
After we helped her clean, Kristen & I headed out to Resthaven to pick up food to bring to the funeral home staff in Moore, who was waiting on families, and busy with that, and on the way, we came across the most outstanding, heartwarming sight.
It was the day for one of the precious little children that was lost in the storm and the bikers were there to great them, and hundreds of people lined the street to honor the life of this sweet little soul. Signs were waved, "Oklahoma Proud" and you couldn't help but tear up with such a display of support. This picture does not even begin to do it justice, what I witnessed today, but the policeman waving people through, was not happy with me and my need to take pictures of everything.
After feeding the funeral home staff, we packed up some incredible food packs that had been donated by Carriage Services (each pack would feed a family of 4 for 30 days, along with a heat source) and pondered over what in the world to do with these incredible gifts. After a brief discussion of needs and demands, we decided to head those out to the Little Axe area, where it's very out in the country. What an incredible blessing to these people. They literally could not believe their eyes when we dropped them to the donation center, where the leaders of the center, blurted out, "We KNOW who can benefit from them, that is so fantastic."
Ok, one rant here. If it's not NEW, and it's been in your garage to Donate or give away, DO NOT give this item to the relief donations. They do NOT need your garage sale castoffs. They need NEW or GENTLY USED THINGS. There were tables and tables of ridiculously used and smelly clothes. REALLY? How nice to have a holey, pink with brown spots from paint on a Dan's Pizza Parlor tshirt.
Whoa. There is a plethora of water, so for the minute, no water is needed. Plus, people aren't being smart with the water in bottles, and leaving them in the parking lots, and under tents, and because plastic bottles can't heat up, as the water in the bottle becomes toxic. So be careful of the bottle water thing and where you are storing it.
Little Axe was overwhelming. Since it's rural, there are immense trees that are uprooted and laying over in the yards. Kristen and I with our garbage bags, and "love bags", were ill prepared for the needs of that community. They already had their drinks in the coolers, and the need in that area are strong strong men, with chainsaws and bobcats and backhoes. I was happy for the food packs, because many many of the families in that area are in tents, with camping equipment to live from.
Back to Moore we went, and we headed out to give cold drinks and our snack bags. There is so much love out there, it was no uncommon for us to be following another vehicle doing similar things as us. The only difference was our drinks were coming out of ice cold cooler. And the love bags were rec'd as were given... with love and thanks.
I talked with one couple that told me this was their 3rd tornado since moving to Moore in 1989. They rode the storm out in their storm cellar, with 15 of their neighbors. They lost everything. It was so weird, because the upstairs corner of the house, his speakers were still standing and his recliner was intact and against the wall. Everything else in that house was gone. But the speakers were still stacked 3 tall. My co-worker Becky, told me that her sister's bedroom, the bed was still made and her mom's picture was still sitting on the dresser intact without a scratch on it. Tornadoes are weird and fickle things.
Needless to say, as we ventured out of our 2 mile radius and traveled down 4th street toward Sunnylane, our hearts were broken again and again at the massive destruction.
People went to work, and came home to nothing. They are having to rebuild their entire life. I drove home from the wreckage, and saw people at the golf course, and taking their boats to the lake, and all the sudden I was righteously indignant.
EVERYONE needs help. There isn't one house in Moore that doesn't need some kind of assistance. Even if it is in the outskirts neighborhoods, picking up thousands of pieces of debris in their yard, to being right in the trenches, and handing out water and encouragement.... there are things to be done.
Be the hands and feet of Jesus. I am so tired this evening, I can hardly type, but I have never felt such a deep satisfaction in my life.
Be the hands of feet of Jesus. Now is the time. Drive to Moore, Oklahoma.... Shawnee, Oklahoma....Carney, Oklahoma.... Little Axe, Oklahoma...... Newcastle, Oklahoma....... and get involved.
Be the hands and feet of Jesus. YOU are needed. Don't think for a minute you can't assist someone.