Last week, I went to Moore, Oklahoma and saw with my own eyes the path of destruction left by recent tornadoes. It was like nothing I have ever seen before in person.
Since being there, even more tornadoes have come through the area.
Our work day was organized by a group from Starbucks, and since my brother is a supervisor for some stores in the area, he was going and he let us tag along.
Basically we put on gloves and picked up debris, moving it to piles where it could later be collected by the city.
We road on Moore school buses to the site. Then we were assigned to teams and given addresses of lots where we had permission from owners to clean up and sort through their rubble.
Honestly, it didn’t feel like I did that much, but the combined effort of 300 folks was like ants making a hill. All of a sudden there were big piles ready for pick up.
Baskets of things that might be treasures were set aside for owners to look through later.
The man who gave us our instructions represented ServeMoore.com, a website that didn’t exist until a couple of weeks ago. He made me cry by telling us how thankful he was for our help.
He said that the best way he knew to thank us was to thank God for us, and then he prayed over the sea of green t-shirts.
This man, who lives in an area that was decimated in minutes by crazy tunnels of wind, prayed for us, a group of 300 people who drove from our safely standing homes to see his town and work for a few hours.
It was one of those reversal moments in life that gives you a big lump in your throat for about a week.
The organization, ServeMoore.com, has the clean up effort organized really well.
In fact, if you are driving I-40 this summer with your family, your friends or a church group, you can hop on their website and find an address where you can show up and help for a day!
(Peter is back there with Whitney and the boys this week!)
You can also find out what items are most needed if you want to donate. One of the groups that drove in brought homemade baked goods for the shelters that were MUCH appreciated! I thought that was SUCH a great idea. They had the treats all tied up in bags with sweet notes on them. LOVE!
In addition to being blown away by how a group of folks and churches in the area have organized so quickly to create ServeMoore.com, I was also really amazed by Starbucks. Starbucks employees from several states rose up so quickly to participate that they had to ask some regions to wait and participate in later service dates, which are already being organized. Also, Starbucks will donate $10 for every hour we worked last week to tornado relief. Even though Mary Polly, Cole and I don’t work for Starbucks, our hours were counted too, since we came and worked alongside them. That is amazing to me!
Plus, they found a company that printed us these precious shirts for free! It’s my new favorite shirt! I might even wear it for a whole month.
Also, the Starbucks stores in the area served us coffee (of course!), pastries and snacks before we got to work. And Chik-Fil-A brought us lunch! What? Again, I couldn’t believe how much love the City of Moore (and Oklahoma City) poured out on us just for showing up. If you have a chance to go and help this summer, I highly recommend jumping on it!
People coming together to help other people is one of the most beautiful things in the whole world!