Monday, August 29, 2011


 Last weekend a group of 68 members of our ward traveled to Joplin to help with the cleanup after the tornado that ripped their town apart.  It is humbling to see that we are not in control of our lives.  7000 homes were damaged and/or lost during the storm.  (3000 didn't have insurance.)  I don't know what the number was for businesses destroyed, but it included Home Depot, Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, Taco Bell, etc.  You get the picture.  They lost so much within minutes.  One mile wide and it destroyed a path six miles long.
 What amazed me though was how many people show up daily to help out.  Ben, the guy in charge said every day some group into town to work and those that are passing through leave money to help out.

The group I was in worked on this house.  When we arrived the ground was covered on all 4 sides with shingles.  We spent hours cleaning it up and the men worked on the roof.  The woman that owned the house was so grateful for the help.  She said it was overwhelming to see all that needed to be done and to not know where to begin.  It took 6 of us 2 1/2 hours to clean up her yard from the debris, can you imagine how hard that would have been for her?
 They keep this car at the base camp to help the volunteers understand what happened.  There has been so much cleanup since we took the kids down a month ago that I think it would be easy to forget the extent of the damage.
 We spent the afternoon working at the school cleaning up the trash.  After 2 1/2 hours we had 20 bags of trash and it still looked like we had barely touched it.  There was also a bus load from Columbia that was working as well.  It was sobering to see how much there was still left to do.

The people are so humble.  It was a pleasure to serve them.

I am more grateful for my life and the home we live in.  I know that it can taken at any moment.  We sometimes forget that we are not in control.  I know I do!

From out of the rubble by the school we found some items that had blown from the houses over a block away.  Pictures, baseball cards and this basket that contained a vase and a hurricane lamp.  The hurricane and the vase were undamaged, yet the outside speakers and light poles were twisted into knots and barely recognizable.  I brought the hurricane home as a reminder to me of how delicate life is and that it is truly a gift.
These pictures are from my friends blog. I think she borrowed them from Sis Hollars.
The top is the Hospital.  I love the one of the school.  The only letters remaining were "OP" after the tornado.  Someone added "H" & "E" with duct tape and carved eagles into the damaged trees.

I am amazed at the HOPE they have.


Shannon said...

That is very moving... it definitely puts things in perspective.

Will and Marcie Davis said...

Oh Robin! That is Awe inspiring! You amaze me! That is so close to home it makes me cry every time I see it! I am SO thankful for everyone who volunteers there!