Moore, Oklahoma was my home.

In 1990 my mom and dad loaded me, my sister and my brother up and drove us from our small house in the Texas panhandle to Moore, Oklahoma.
My dad had taken a new job there. I'd be starting the 1st grade.
To this day my 1st grade teacher has been my favorite teacher I ever had.
Her name was Ms. Childress and she taught me how to count by 2's, 3's, 5's and 10's with these silly little songs that I still catch myself singing when I need to count in multiples.
I was a teacher's pet in elementary school.
The teachers always told my parents that I'd write and re-write everything until it was just perfect. 
I loved school.
I loved Moore.
And I loved the new friends I'd made.
My sister and I were best friends with Hollie and Kristie. They lived a few streets over from us and we'd walk to their house in the summer and play all day.
Moore, Ok. is where I faked my eye exam so I could have glasses.
It's where I was pushed down at the bus stop while playing tag one morning before school and knocked my front tooth out and I had to get a root canal, which later would lead to me getting chairside bonding and ultimately, veneers.
It's where I sat on our porch and read with an eye patch over my "bad eye" to strengthen my "good eye" when I faked said eye exam.
It's where I had many softball practices, games and tournaments in that red dirt.
It's where my sister and I used to pick the honeysuckles off the fence in our backyard and suck out the nectar.
It's where my 3 year old brother hid behind the dumpster from my mom and she freaked out and called 911 and he popped out and said "HERE I AM!"
It's where my mom had her 30th birthday party at our house.
It's where my sister and I danced too many times to New Kids on the Block.
It was my home.

In 1992 we picked up and moved again to the Dallas area.
I would be in the 3rd grade.
I missed my friends in Moore, Ok., but I quickly made new ones and adjusted to life in Dallas.

When the tornadoes hit Moore, Ok. in May of 1999 I went back for disaster relief and to help clean up with my youth group.
I remember driving to Moore, seeing things I didn't recognize, my town I once lived in, torn to pieces.
I was 15 years old.
We helped the Salvation Army stock shelves with donated food, we picked up debris out of privately owned farmlands, we prayed for those affected.
It was a special trip for me because I'd lived there. I knew the town it once was.
Seeing the devastation of these tornadoes left my heart shattered.

That's how I feel today. Shattered.

The town I once lived in, have so many fond memories of, has been struck again by horrific tornadoes. 
Worse than in 1999, when I couldn't even fathom the destruction THEN.
I am saddened and heart broken for those affected by this terrible act of nature.

These pictures were sent to me from my childhood friend, Kristie, who still lives in Moore, Ok.
Her house was spared, but only blocks from the flattened areas. Her, her husband and their 2 boys were in her in laws tornado shelter at the time and they could feel and hear the tornado pass through.
house directly across from Moore Medical Center
West side of I 35 by hospital and Warren theater
North side of Moore Medical Center

The thing I love most about the blogging community is just that, the community.
You all have shown so much love and support to several families during the course of my Pay it Forward Campaign I did over the holidays.
And with Moore, Ok. so close to my heart, I want to ask for your help again.

I'm not quite sure how to go about helping specific families in need, but here is a start.
The following are resources of where you can donate to help those who have lost everything.
I know material objects do not replace loved ones and that several people have lost children, spouses, mothers, fathers, pets, etc. For those people I will continue to pray.
Please, join me in helping out the victims of Moore, Ok. and surrounding areas affected by these tornadoes.


**The pastor of Love & Justice Church, Andrew and Hilary Burkhart (and their one year old daughter, Evie) lost their home. Here is how to help:
Love & Justice Church

**Thirst No More will be taking aide to Oklahoma. Here is where to help:

**Oklahoma United Methodist Church is taking donations for the families affected. Here is how to help:
Oklahoma United Methodist Church

**One of my blog friends, Kimmy, coaches baseball in Moore, Ok.
One of her players, Jules, lost their home yesterday.
Jules has a little brother, Tytus, and an older brother, Devin, who has special needs.
Their mom, Terminy, told Kimmy that the boys are just so upset that their baseball stuff is gone.
Terminy and her boys
Kimmy has set up a PayPal account for Jules and his family. You can donate directly through the PayPal address: rangersmoore@gmail.com

**You can text FOOD to 32333 and $10 will go to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.

**Operation BBQ Relief is taking donations to provide hot meals. Here is where to help:
Operation BBQ Relief

**United Way of Central Oklahoma is taking donations. Here is where to help:
United Way of Central Oklahoma

**Central Oklahoma Humane Society are accepting donations to help reunite victims with their pets. Here is where to help:
Central Oklahoma Humane Society

**Central Church of Christ (my friend, Kristie's church) is accepting donations. Here is how to help:
Central Church of Christ

**Here is a list of the places you can drop off supplies in the area:
Channel 4 News KFOR TV

I'm working out details and seeing if I can make a trip to Moore and help the cleanup efforts in the coming weeks.
Any of my blog peeps want to join me? If you have any information, let me know.

And please join me in praying for Oklahoma.


Emily Eisert said...

So heartbreaking to see those photo's and think of all the people hurting. Thanks for showing us all the ways we can help! I'm sharing!

Christy Clark said...

I don't have a blog, but I'm a great blog stalker and I would love to go help! I don't have much monetary to help, but would love to go up to Moore and help in some way!
Let me know!

K.Tidmore said...

I've been a reader for several months now but this is my first time commenting. My whole family and I live in Moore and there's just not enough words to describe how devastating this is. My family was lucky and our homes were spared but many of my friends were not so fortunate. Any and all help is greatly appreciated.
Keep praying for Moore!

Kathryn said...

WOW!! That last picture gave me chills! "The most important things in life aren't things" SO TRUE!! Great job at spreading the word Mama L! We will be praying and sending supplies from our area to the Moore community.

LovinLiberty said...

Wow. Who can I give credit to for the last photo??? I wanted to share, but want to give credit where credit is due. #Praying4Moore

Linznoel said...

I know exactly how you feel. This isn't just too close to home - this is home. Proud to be an Okie! Let me know if you coordinate a trip. I'm in Tulsa, but I'll be back and forth several times over the coming year to help with rebuilding and I'd love to serve with you!

ty said...

Right now, they're discouraging volunteers from coming in because they're overwhelmed with them while they're still trying to conduct rescue. Once it turns into clean up, I think there will be a lot more opportunity for volunteers. I've been telling everyone to go to their local Red Cross and take a disaster relief course NOW, so that if it happens again, there will be more educated volunteers that can help.

If you hear of anything, please let me know. It's my former home too (well, Norman was), and I'd love to get a group together.

Montana Smith said...

I am donating all proceeds from my shop through the end of May to the relief fund. Thank you for all that you are doing. I am a longtime reader but usually don't comment. Thinking and praying for all of your loved ones.

STACI said...

Thank you so much for posting all of those links! It made it really easy to help donate! Love your blog! So much honest positivity! Oklahoma strong!!! -from California

Vickie said...

That last picture sent chills up my spine! Praying for everyone...so, so sad and heartbreaking! I'm a teacher and I can't even imagine! I can't stop thinking about the poor babies in the school!

Amy {Write this Down} said...

Thank you for spreading the word on how to help my fellow Oklahomans. xoxo

Mrs.HVK said...

Dude that last picture. #truth

Praying for all.

Fly Me Away said...

Thank you for letting is know how to help!

AshleyA said...

I do not have a blog, but I do live here in the DFW area. Please let me know if you arrange to go help with the cleanup. I would love to help out!

Amy Getz said...

What a great tribute to Oklahoma and a wonderful summary of ways to help . . . thank you! I'll share on my own little blog and hope it helps!

Amy @ getzgirlonfire

Heather Dinwiddie said...

Two years ago tomorrow Joplin MO was devastated with a massive tornado. My husband and I along with some friends volunteered for cleanup. Probably one of the hardest and most emotional things I've ever done. Kuddos to you for helping in any way that you can.

Mandy Wright said...

I have many family members who live in Oklahoma and my husband used to live in Moore back in 1999, If you arrange a time to go up there to help out, please email me and I will go help wherever I can! Mandy at mandypay80@yahoo.com

The Ah Ha Moment said...

Thank you so much for all you do. If you do get a group together I would like to take part. antbeeof3@hotmail.com

robert fox said...

Tears, I have tears reading that. The last pic broke the dam!
Your a GOOD Person, getting these links out to help! May the Sun Shine on You Forever!


Chris Dodaj said...

I've been glued to the tv. So devestating! I just donated to the BBQ relief fund, thanks for providing those links!

having lost a home (and everything I owned in it) in a matter of six seconds to a massive tree = every little bit helps. thanks for the opportunity to help!

Lara said...

Thank you for posting how we can help.

I grew up in the Texas Panhandle in a small town too. Hmmm.....

I lived in Oklahoma for about 6 years after high school and love how everyone pulls together to help others.

BabyWeightMyFatAss said...

The devastation is horrible. I've lived through a tornado about 20 years ago and it's scary. I recognized immediately the name of Moore, OK yesterday because it's Toby Keith's hometown and I'm a huge fan. God bless!

JamieLynn said...

Thank you. Another long time reader, first time commenter, born and raised in OK and now living in DFW. Thanks for the concise information and ways to help when we all fee helpless. Thoughts still going out to all involved, including rescue workers and clean up efforts.

Amber Jewison said...

The last photo is Courtesy of Swey Boyd. An iReporter from yesterday's tornado. She and her pictures were just on CNN.

Heather Nelson said...

This is so heartbreaking!!! Praying for those families and workers down there! You are an amazing person for helping where you can!! Thank you for sharing your story!

Emily said...

Thanks for taking the time to share the great information on how we can help!

Tamara @ The Workout Mama said...

This is a heartbreaker. Thanks for listing the ways to help.

Kelly @ turned UP to ELEVEN! said...

This breaks my heart and takes me immediately back to the storms that ripped through Alabama. Tornadoes are so unforgiving. My heart, prayers and thoughts go out to the entire OK community effected and those surrounding. I am sure it's hit way too close to 2nd home for you with this happening. I'm glad your friend and her family were OK and thank you for sending all this information so we can all feel a part of helping and healing that will need to happen in that town!!! oxoxo

CrystalJayRay said...

Another longtime reader, first time commenter over here. THANK YOU for this post and for sharing how to help my fellow Okies! I live in OKC and have family and friends in Moore. Many people are hurting here and its so refreshing to see the power of social media put to good use. You're such an inspiration in so many ways!

April Rowell said...

Thanks for showing Oklahoma some love and helping any way you can.

Broken Arrow, Ok

srjones03 said...

Thank you for posting all of that information on how to donate. I would love to go to Moore to help out - please keep me updated on when a trip may happen and I will do my absolute best to make it there.

Rae Kaye said...

That last photo is really beautiful. It is always so encouraging to see people come together for the greater good. We're thinking of you Moore! Praying for peace.

Melissa said...

Wanted to share another way to help (especially for teachers). Teacher's Notebook has a place to donate where 100% goes to Moore, OK and donators (sp?) get tons of great teaching resources as a thanks.


Claire said...

Hi! Just so you know in the picture with the three boys that's not Terminy. That's Emily Sutton the meteorologist for KFOR in OKC. She's also my college roommate and good friend so imagine my surprise to see her face on your blog! You can see she's holding her headshots in her hand as well :)

Chele said...

I feel your heavy heart for Moore. My sister's family lived in Moore for 6 years when my brother in law was stationed at Tinker. They were restationed three months ago to Alaska, but she still owns a home there and has many friends.

Seeing this place where I have visited many times shattered and broken has brought tears to my eyes every time. Whenever I would tell people where I was going to visit my sister, they would look at me with a strange look and be like "Oklahoma? What's in Oklahoma?" and I would usually rattle on for 10 minutes about how wonderful the people in her neighborhood were and how all the houses looked the same, but they were all beautiful in their own little decorative ways. How sweet the nurses at Moore Medical Center were to my family when my adorable nephews were born there and how you can get just about anything you need in Moore since it's a big town just like where I live, but that there are just random oil rigs and cows hanging out at the end of busy neighborhood streets.

It's so sad to see all of the destruction that has come to this place that became like a second home to me during the years that my sister lived there.

Kimmyyy83 said...

love you so much! Thank you for everything.... I could not help without people like you!

Beth said...

Thanks for posting...Our Christ of Christ in Little Vienna, Mo was looking for another Church of Christ to help..Thanks for posting the links!!!!

Nessa said...

So I just found your blog, sort of by accident from blog-hopping. Thank you for a wonderful piece on small town Oklahoma life. People don't always understand us, but they can always see the resilience that we posses. That we cry AND laugh. And that we are strong. OKlahoma will be OK. Thanks again.
Ps Shared on FB, hope you don't mind.

Sonoran Kimberly said...

I live in Arizona, but my friends have lots of boots on the ground. I'd like to leave this link to a special article I think would be comforting to any readers out there. May everyone find some peace in the midst of this awful chaos.