I got the opportunity to drive down to Moore, OK, site of the May 20 tornado, with our chapel’s college and career group. It was an amazing weekend, Th-Sun. We stayed at a local church and worked through a local non-profit (ServeMoore) that connects volunteers and their tools and skills with local residents who have specific needs.
Some of us worked at the FEMA warehouse, sorting supplies and donations to fill distribution requests. The majority worked on 3 different sites doing mostly demolition work. We also did some canvassing of the neighborhoods effected by the storm to find more needs that could be met by later volunteers.
But, the pivitol event for me was Sat night. We went to the elementary school where 23 3rd graders were killed and met the volunteers of Raise Some Hope who run a nightly event that allows locals and outsiders to meet and to share their stories of survival and hope. It was a very simple, but powerful, ministry.
The parents of one 3rd grader were there, in fact, they are there every night. They shared the story of “Extras”. They had married later in life, the wife has grown children. He had been told he could never have kids but, in their later years, they did. The little boy asked every day for “extras” meaning extra money to buy more food at the cafeteria. It was apparently quite annoying. After that day they were talking with other survivors and someone from the school who had known the little boy told them that her favorite thing about him was how he spent his own money every day to buy his little friend food, since she couldnt afford it.
This was but one story, but it reminded me that we all have extras in our life, and that they do the most good when we do something with them. Our stories are important, even if only to give another validation that they arent the only one going through something.