An eight-hour drive from Memphis turned into 12 when the Easthaven Church of Christ experienced bus troubles while heading to the tornado hit areas of Oklahoma. Even after air-conditioning problems and a blowout, nothing could stop the church youth group from arriving in Oklahoma City and Moore.
“Every place we stopped at to get help, people did it for free,” said Valerie Carlock, 44, holding a shovel. “AC, we got it for free. Tires, we got it for free. Everything.” Carlock wasn’t afraid to get down and dirty doing debris cleanup with the youth.
Easthaven spent July 8 through July 11 assisting anyone in need. Alameda Church of Christ in Norman housed Easthaven’s 25 volunteers until their departure July 12.
Ages 9 to 18, the youth group helped in debris cleanup, demolition, and foundation clearing.
“Anything anybody needed we did it,” Carlock said. “You may not know when it’ll be you that needs help. That’s what God wants us to do, to help.”
Caleb Armstrong said the destruction was worse in person than on TV.
“You get to meet people that actually experienced (the tornado),” he said volunteering on his 17th birthday. “I want someone to do the same for me.”
Some of the youth also helped in Missouri after the 2011 Joplin tornado.