DALE — In an attempt to help those in their community ravaged by the recent tornado, Dale Public Schools coaches canceled their summer sports camps in order to allow their teams to volunteer.
“We canceled for a few reasons,” said Dale softball coach Andy Powell. “With the tornadoes, I didn’t really feel like anyone was going to be in the mood for softball camp. And with Dale being such a tight community, I knew all week that our kids wanted to be out there helping our neighbors.”
Powell said as far as he knows, his student-athletes have been working every day in some capacity — either picking up, delivering or unloading donated goods, and helping to clean up debris.
In addition to assisting with the donation center set up at Dale school, softball players Taylor Anderson and Raegan Holt traveled around the community to assist with clean up.
“I went to help move trees,” Anderson said, and both girls worked to deliver water and other supplies to outlying areas.
Although neither was affected by the weather, both were compelled to help those who were.
“All those families that lost everything,” Holt said before trailing off. “I just couldn’t imagine it,” she finished a moment later.
The donation center has received an outpouring from across Oklahoma, everything from diapers and baby formula, to clothes of all sizes, household supplies, and cases upon cases of water and sports drinks.
Personnel from Tinker Air Force Base delivered and unloaded cases of water and sports drinks, while Shawna Russell, a musician from Okemah, loaded her tour bus and brought a variety of donations, including non-perishable foods, bottled water, and clothes.
Clothes were scattered across tables, so thick the tabletop couldn’t be seen, and cases of bottled water towered to the ceiling. Items lined the hallways, at times bottlenecking traffic, but the volunteers remained undeterred from their mission of helping the community.
“I want to thank everyone who helped out and donated,” Holt said.
Anderson agreed, and wanted the community and others to remember that the cleanup is not over.
“We need all the help we can get,” Anderson said.
The closet is open everyday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. for those who have been displaced or are in need.
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