By Dan Domsic
Signs, stories and houses broken into millions of pieces greeted Fishers residents Josh DeLucia and Zach Mayner when they reached Moore, Okla., to lend a hand with Muncie resident Alan Holdren.
The trio spent the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of Memorial Day weekend driving to Moore and helping out.
“It was a crazy experience,” DeLucia said. “It’s unbelievable to talk to someone who literally has lost everything material that they owned and have a smile on their face… (It) puts a lot of different things into perspective, what’s important, what’s not.”
He said people were making the best of the situation – the aftermath a devastating tornado left in the Oklahoma town.
Signs sprouted amongst the wreckage – “God Bless” and “State Farm, where are you?” and “For Sale, New Floor Plan, as is.”
And stories came the Hoosiers’ way. Parents rushing to a school caught in the path, with some making it there in time and others not, as well as a resident that opened his storm shelter to look out into the eye of the storm.
DeLucia said this first trip out to a disaster area served as a “fact-finding mission,” for future trips.
He independently worked with his friends to put the trip together, but also worked with his church, St. Louis de Montfort Catholic Church, to deliver relief.
He plans on going on more trips like this in the future.
He said he is trying to pull an association together that would “communify” not-for-profits and churches into an action arm or focal point in these regards.
Mayner said he is beginning the process of obtaining 501(C) 3 status for such a disaster relief not-for-profit in Fishers.
DeLucia said that if others want to participate in disaster relief, they have to just commit to doing so, but be sure to go ready to work and not get in the way.
Mayner said he had to turn off his emotions while in Moore.
“That was probably the craziest thing – the emotions you felt for the families and just realizing that literally everything can be gone from your life in a split second,” he said.