Trophy Club Donates, Sends Aid to Moore, OK Tornado Relief

Posted by April Reiling on May 24, 2013
Tags: Community, Town News, Trophy Club Gives

The following was written by Trophy Club Councilman, Danny Mayer.

Each of us at one time or another has probably come to believe that as an individual there is little that we can do to affect change. I know that I have been guilty of this kind of thinking. The events of the past week have taught me once again that a single person can indeed make a huge difference.

On Monday as I was preparing for the Town Council meeting that evening I was stunned as I watched the news reports of the tornado in Moore, OK. I sat at my desk and watched the entire event live on television. What a tragedy for a community that had experienced a similar tornado strike in 1999. After it was over I went back to my preparation for our meeting.

After the meeting ended I returned home and found that my daughter, Victoria, informed me that we would be going to Moore on Thursday to deliver aid. She had printed 150 handouts and personally delivered them to each and every home in Turnberry asking for donations of food, toiletries, etc. As you might imagine, as with everything in Trophy Club, nothing can stay confined especially to a subdivision.   Her message asked them to either put the donation on their front porch for pickup Wednesday evening or to drop it on our front porch. At 11:00 pm Monday evening we had donations on our front porch. We moved them to our front guest room for storage.

On Tuesday morning the word had spread throughout Trophy Club about Victoria’s efforts and donations arrived steadily all day Tuesday and the guest room was filling up. When Victoria returned from work on Tuesday she simply said, ”Dad, we are going to need more trucks”…I should have paid attention to that statement. By now the word had also been announced in a Trophy Club email blast, all of the Facebook pages and by word of mouth. It had also reached the Coldwell Banker office in Southlake where Susan is an agent.

By this time donations were being dropped off at the Municipal Building, Coldwell Banker and my front porch. At 5:00 0n Wednesday I made my final pickup at the Municipal Building and was given a message that Fire Chief Danny Thomas would like to help WITH HIS PICKUP if needed. I called him immediately and asked for his assistance. This proved to be a very important event!

Chief Thomas came to my home Wednesday evening and we started packing my truck and his truck. While we were doing this Victoria was touring Turnberry picking up donation from the front porches. When she returned she again told me that we need another truck. I still wasn’t listening and she was getting frustrated with me. I should have listened. When we finished the Chief’s truck and my truck were completely full, including the back seats.

Finally, it was Thursday morning and we are ready to leave. There are 3 trucks that are full to the brim; mine, the Chief’s and the truck that was packed at the Coldwell Banker office. I opened my front door to see if anything else have been dropped off overnight…NOTHING! I opened the garage and my driveway was full of donations. About the same time I get a text from Coldwell Banker telling me that they also have excess that cannot fit in the truck. Victoria’s words are ringing in my ears about needing more trucks. She is standing beside me and is very frustrated with me and rightfully so.

My phone rings and it is Chief Thomas. He tells me that there is rain along the way and maybe we should put some of items in his trailer to protect them. Wait a minute…did he say a trailer? Chief Thomas goes to the Fire Station and hooks up the trailer and we meet at my house. We repack what we have and drive to the Coldwell Banker office and load their excess. Chief Thomas has saved me but more importantly he made it possible for Victoria to achieve her goal of getting everything delivered in one trip.

We arrived at Journey Church in Norman, Oklahoma in the early afternoon on Thursday. Journey Church is a very large, non-denominational church that is located near the Norman/Moore boundary and is about the size of Gateway Church in Southlake. When our caravan arrived there were literally hundreds of volunteers unloading vehicles as they arrived. The organization was something to behold. The water and Gatorade were offloaded onto pallets and wrapped in plastic. This goes out also as quickly as it comes in. It is dispersed throughout the cleanup areas for the workers. There is no running water in the tornado ravaged areas and bottled water is necessary.

All of the other items are taken inside the church where one large room, larger than a gymnasium, is set up as a sorting room…everything is sorted by type and product. There is a second large room that is set up very much like a grocery store. Victims of the tornado come in and take shopping bags and take whatever they need. Keep in mind that many of these people have lost everything except what they were wearing. As they shop there are other volunteers continually replenishing the shelves. I must say that it was something to see. Of course Chief Thomas is taking it all in because there is much to be learned by the efforts of others.

Just as we are about to leave the Pastor of the church stops by to thank us. Remember, there are literally hundreds of people working and others making deliveries over a very large campus and he takes the time to thank us. In my opinion this was not a chance meeting. Chief Thomas asked the Pastor if there was anything in particular that they needed. The Pastor told of the critical need for work gloves, eye protection, mask for breathing protection and wheel barrows. It turns out that during cleanup one man with a wheel barrow can accomplish as much as four men without a wheel barrow. We shook hands and departed for home. Victoria took my truck and several hundred pounds of pet food and headed for the shelter.

I am riding back with Chief Thomas and we have been on the road for about 30 minutes when his phone rings. It turns out that it is an old friend of his just calling to catch up and see what he is up to. Chief Thomas tells him about our journey to Oklahoma. The friend asked if there is anything that they needed and the Chief relates the list of items that the Pastor had given us. He told the Chief he would call him back. Within 10 minutes he called back and let us know that Caterpillar of Ft Worth was putting together a load of work gloves, eye protection goggles and face mask for the Journey Church and should arrive there in a day or two. We call Victoria, who was still in Norman and let her know. She went back to the church to let the Pastor know and at the same time turned over to him a large sum of cash with which they could purchase wheel barrows.  I don’t think that meeting with the Pastor was a chance meeting. For me I believe that I witnessed a prayed being answer within an hour.

So I would like to ask the question, “Can a single person make a difference?” The answer is obviously yes. It’s like tossing a stone into a pond. There is an immediate splash but the ripples spread out and reach farther and farther.

Victoria has thanked everyone but I want to publically acknowledge and thank them. First is her employer, The Mark Cuban Companies, for allowing her to take a day off work. She has been there less than two weeks. To the many residents of Trophy Club who, as usual, did their part. To the Coldwell Banker office in Southlake for participating and to Chuck Barrett for providing his truck and his time for the delivery.

I want to give special recognition to Trophy Club’s Fire Chief, Danny Thomas. His help and ability to solve logistical problems made this entire process come off without a hitch. The citizens of Trophy Club have every right to be proud of his efforts. Victoria thinks he is a very special gentleman.

Lastly, and most importantly, I want to recognize and thank my daughter, Victoria. It was her vision and her efforts that started the entire process and she saw it though from start to finish. Because of her many lives have been touched.

John Kennedy made the statement, “One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.” Unfortunately, most of us don’t try.