It is very sad anytime we see the devastation after a tornado barrels through a populated area. This past May an F5 tornado hit Moore, Oklahoma. As we drove through the town, actually seeing the damage was overwhelming. The saddest story came out of Plaza Towers Elementary School. Not only was the school completely destroyed, seven students were killed. The memorial set up in their honor would bring anyone to tears.
Although we were not able to set up a camp at this time, we figured we could help out in one way or another. With only four days until the start of the new school year, we thought we would lend a hand to get Plaza Towers Elementary's temporary location set up. We helped move furniture, organize text books, and deliver donated supplies to each classroom. The tasks were simple but they were eye opening.
We couldn't believe how many supplies were donated from all over the country. We read note after heart felt note from so many kids, teachers-complete strangers.
The sheer resolve of the community was astounding. A tornado just ripped through their town and flattened so many homes, yet there was no doubt they would rebuild even stronger than before.
We helped Janice Brim, a 6th grade teacher, move supplies into her new room. She then asked us to sit down so we could talk and get to know each other. She told us how her school felt like family and she was ready for the new year to begin despite the challenges.
We also got to meet Amy Simpson, the Principal of Plaza Towers. She had such a warm, easy-going nature yet you could tell she was also a strong leader. She, and the rest of the staff, were so appreciative of our help, but they were the real inspiration.
It seems cliche to say, but it made us proud to be humans after meeting the people of Moore, Oklahoma. Kind of renews your faith in humanity. They will rebuild and they will bounce back because that is who they are. We are convinced no tornado could ever touch the spirit of these people.
Makes you realize that while winning and losing on the court has its importance, the way you respond to adversity is what truly defines you.
***We are working to get a camp going in Moore this school year. We are aiming for some time in December. Check back for updates!