Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Haleys Heart Part 2

Well on Sunday morning at 9am we were on the road for about 9 hours. My family and I have made this trip so many times I swear we could do it with our eyes closed.
Finally after about a hundred pit stops and about a hundred rockstars later, we arrived in Miami, Ok, which is where we had to stay since there were no hotels in Joplin. However Miami is only a 25 minute drive, so no biggie. We got a much needed night of rest and some much needed showers.
Monday morning came way too quick if ya ask me, but at 8am we were on our way to Joplin to deliver all the donations that we received.
When we finally pulled into Joplin, my mouth dropped. I couldn’t believe the way it was, It’s so much different seeing it in person then on the news. Everything that I knew and grew up around was flattened or needed to be flattened, the old Victorian style houses that I swore one day I would own were gone, almost all of their schools demolished. Its devastating, no words can describe what my daughter, my husband and I saw. I’m sure it was different for all the other volunteers then it was for us. To them it was just a city but to us it was so much more.
If I could show you pictures of what it was before I think that would help, but I can’t so if you could just imagine, tree covered streets beautiful homes on every block, and I’m talking about the kind of streets where you can’t even see the sky because the trees arch perfectly over the entire street, a very beautiful and peaceful place. Gone.
Well we spent mostly all of Monday trying to find a place to unload one of the semis, which is in it’s own way a very good thing. But one church, out of the many many that are in the area, said that we could unload it there no matter what was in it. The pastor of that church said that he wanted to meet the amazing 7 year old that started all of what we’ve done, he said that she is one amazing girl with one big heart. Which I must say, I agree with 100%.
We didn’t get to unload that semi that day, because it was almost 6 pm when we found the place. So we called it a night, but Haley did get to meet some of the people that she is helping as well as hear their stories and that was the greatest feeling, to know that SHE is making a difference in someones time of grief. She definitely put a smile on alot of faces that Monday.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Haley's Heart (part 1)

As many of you know(well those of you that watch the news) there was a devastating F5 tornado that hit my hometown and our oldest daughters birthplace of Joplin, Missouri on Sunday May 22.
That Sunday will forever remain in my mind. As my family and I watched the devastation unfold on the news and social networks from Lubbock, TX, My thoughts went to worrying about my many friends and family up there. For a few hours I could not get hold of hardly anyone, my heart was honestly in the pit of my stomach. We did finally find out that everyone was okay. But the town however was not.
That same night that almost 200 lost their lives, almost 10,000 cars destroyed and almost an entire city of businesses and homes flattened to foundation, My daughter Haley Walker went to her closet and started taking out her own clothes.
She filled up a trashbag and said that she wanted to give them and some toys to some little girl in Joplin who needed them now more then she did, then of course it went from her cleaning out her closet to me cleaning out everyone else’s in the house. Then it spread to friends and family, Then the next thing I knew all three of our local news stations contacted me to speak with Haley.
That Monday night on the 6 & 10 o’clock news Haley’s story aired. Then Tuesday morning my phone started ringing like crazy with people wanting to donate whatever they could.
Then one man called with some very unexpected news, he owned a trucking company and wanted to donate a 53ft trailer and the time and gas to get it to Joplin. With tears streaming down my face I called every business that I could to try and find a spot to place this semi. When I finally found a spot, thedonations came in. It took only 3 days to fill that semi then we needed a second one, then after that A BUS!!

On Sunday morning, exactly one week after the horrible devastation hit we were on our way to Missouri, with 3 cars full of volunteers and 2 semis and a bus full of donations.