- Posted October 9, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Tell us the Good Stuff!
Peace After the Storm- The Moore Tornado Six Months Later
An F5 tornado ripped through the small town of Moore, Okla., on May 20, 2013. It broke apart many lives and demolished businesses, but hope still came to some in the form of starting over.
Oklahoma Christian University in Oklahoma City, Okla., felt the impact rock its campus both positively and negatively.
“Anytime you have a disaster the size of the Moore tornado so close to your campus, it cannot help but have a big impact,” Neil Arter, dean of students, said. “First, you have the physical impact on people within this community. We had students lose everything, employees’ homes impacted and alumni and friends impacted as well. Your hearts pour out for those you know and other Oklahomans that lost so much. The campus had to respond and had a desire to help. We extended a hand to those in need, became housing for workers and scrambled to do what our hearts were calling us to do.”
Many students expressed their desire to assist with relief efforts. Nicholas Jensen, a member of OC’s Kappa Sigma Tau service club, decided to go further. He contacted another service club, Pi Zeta Phi, to coordinate a Thanksgiving food drive for the tornado victims.
“Everything was completely devastated,” Jensen said. “I grew up in Moore, and my grandmother used to live directly across the street from where the tornado hit. The church I went to for 12 years, Central Church of Christ, is across the street from Warren Theater and the neighborhood that got hit. I went up to help with relief aid the same week. I saw the damage first-hand. I could not even recognize my grandmother’s street until a friend pointed out the street signs. I knew I wanted to help in any way I could.”
OC’s service clubs require each member to have service hours every semester. The clubs strive to impact as many people as they can through meaningful service events. The campus received great emotional and spiritual impacts from the recent tornado, and clubs have sought to assist. Students looked beyond themselves and stepped up to aid in any way they physically could.
“We all think we are invincible,” Arter said. “Nothing like this can ever happen to us. Then it happens, so close to home. It has caused us to stop, think, show compassion and search for our purpose in life.”
Jensen agreed that OC has been very involved in the relief efforts.
“I know Neil Arter sent out emails a few days after the tornado, and people started getting groups together. I am proud that some students have even gone to help on their own. OC is very good about encouraging service work for students and their response to the tornado victims has been phenomenal.”
One Moore resident, Sabrina Wright, expressed hopefulness after the tornado.
“Everywhere you drive, you can see the destruction, but now you can see the resilience in all the new construction that is taking place,” she said.
- My life