The Norman Transcript

Columns

December 16, 2012

Couple dedicates their lives to helping others

(Continued)

SLAUGHTERVILLE —

That wildfire pales in comparison to the losses from this summer’s wildfires in eastern Cleveland County, less than three miles from the Brown’s store. “If the wind had changed, we’d have lost everything,” said Jim, a former Slaughterville volunteer firefighter.

In a typical year, they will help about 40 families with household goods, kitchen items, appliances, bedding and clothing. This year, they’ve helped 108 to date.

“It was so serious. The numbers were just unbelievable,” said Annette. “This year has been our biggest ever in 26 years.”

Community response has been strong, too. Store customers often drop cash and checks in a jar on the counter. Donors show up with appliances, dishes, silverware, microwaves and cash. Money comes to their non-profit Maguire Community Foundation at 9551 E. Maguire Road, Noble, OK 73068.

“We didn’t turn anybody down. If we ran out, we had the funds this time to buy brand new,” said Annette. “I just love it when I can hand them something brand new.”

n n n

The fires impacted the Brown’s store, too. Some of the nearly 140 families burned out by the fires ended up moving. Many were customers. Insurance and FEMA delays have pushed some to pull up what’s left and move. The emotional losses have mounted, too.

“I’ll bet some of them don’t come back,” said Jim. “We saw it in Bridge Creek with the tornadoes. It was just too much trauma for some of them to move back.”

The year’s drought, tornadoes and fires haven’t dampened the couple’s passion for helping others. In an odd way, it seems to have made them more determined to help the less fortunate.

Volunteers will deliver the gifts on Christmas Eve and then be at home with their own families. Some have been helping for years, making the group home gifts part of their own family traditions.

“You get so much from helping others,” said Annette. “Really, this is the best thing we’ve ever done in our lives.”

Andy Rieger366-3543editor@normantranscript.com

For local news and more, subscribe to The Norman Transcript Smart Edition, or our print edition.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • Congress should close gaps

    Of all of Edward Snowden’s revelations about electronic surveillance by the National Security Agency, the most unsettling was that the government was accumulating vast numbers of records about the telephone calls of American citizens. In ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Border obsession overlooks trade

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry made headlines recently by ordering 1,000 National Guard troops to the border. This bravado comes at a price: $12 million a month. Perry plans to send the bill the federal government. That’s one way to finance your ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Intercession badly needed in this world

    Yesterday was my feast day, or as the Italians call it, my “onomastico.” Since I live in the United States, it went completely unnoticed. If I lived in Italy, however, I would have been showered with cards and phone calls. That’s because ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Porch leap looked muchbigger as a kid

    It’s no secret that porch designs have changed over the years. Drive through new Norman developments and look at the porches. Most only have room for a potted plant and a spot to drop those UPS packages, no place for a porch swing or ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Keeping the war buried

    International outrage over the downing of a Malaysian passenger plane over Ukraine on July 17 does not appear to have affected either the actions of pro-Russia forces in that country or the material support Russia is offering the rebels. ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Gaza’s victims: civilians and peace

    After more than two weeks of fighting between Hamas and Israel, there is no question which side has the upper hand. Thursday’s strike on a U.N.-run school for Palestinian children increased the Palestinian death toll to more than 760. By ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Norman Forward builds momentum

    The quiet campaign to build momentum for a citywide public works project is beginning to attract some attention....

    July 20, 2014

  • Tax those trees out of here

    I read your editorial “Pesky red cedars” in the Norman Transcript of Tuesday, July 15, 2014. I have attended two meetings where the problem of the eastern red cedar trees was discussed. Because of the drought conditions in Oklahoma, we ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Make gun safety a health issue

    Quick, are you more likely to die by a bullet or in a car crash? Common sense would seem to suggest the latter. Cars are everywhere. We are an auto-obsessed nation. To be American is to drive — everywhere. Teenagers itch to get behind the ...

    July 20, 2014

  • They just want to be free ... maybe

    Massoud Barzani, president of Iraq’s semiautonomous Kurdistan region, rattled many cages this month when he announced in parliament that the KRG would be moving ahead soon on a referendum on independence from Iraq. If Kurdistan goes ahead ...

    July 20, 2014