The Norman Transcript

May 22, 2013

Norman church serves storm victims

By Hannah Cruz
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Journey Church was humming with activity Tuesday morning as hundreds of volunteers worked to organize donated goods for the victims of Monday’s tornado in Moore.

Stations throughout the church, 3801 Journey Pkwy. in Norman, had stacks of pillows, blankets, clothing, diapers, food, water and more as volunteers hurriedly organized the flood of resources. As of Tuesday morning, Pastor Sam Wampler said the church had served around 100 storm victims.

One of them was Kaye Bailey whose home at 1517 Ginger Ave. in Moore, was destroyed in the storm.

With tears in her eyes as she clung to her dog, Bailey described the experience of riding out the storm inside a closet.

“When it finally went by, I just saw some daylight under the door,” she said. “When I opened the door, there wasn’t nothing there.”

Bailey arrived at Journey Church Monday night, and was supplied with clothing, food and a place to sleep for the night.

“The church is a really nice thing to have set up for people like this. Things are going on all around me. Pretty amazing,” she said. “I saw them all do it for the Piedmont tornado, too. I wasn’t in that, but my best friend’s sister was. When they say on TV that Oklahoma is a great state — I’m sure other states do the same for their people, too — but it’s a great state. It’s amazing.”

Wampler said the church has received so many donations they’re having to move items by semitruck to store elsewhere.

Though items are still being accepted, Wampler encouraged volunteers to give of their time and resources in the weeks to come after some of the excitement dies down.

Other churches in the area, such as Harvest Church at 6450 36th Ave. NW in Norman, also are providing food and shelter to victims, as well as accepting donations.

Chad Williams, Harvest Church associate pastor, said the church had 50 to 60 individuals from the congregation affected by the storm. The church is teaming up with Journey Church to provide needs to the community.

Williams said donation items needed — besides basic goods like hygiene kits, food, water, blankets, etc. — include tarps, plywood, battery operated screwdrivers, flashlights and chainsaws.

For those affected by the storm, Williams said they have ample support from many in the community.

“There are people here for them that love ‘em. We’ve never met — we’ve never met face to face — but we love ‘em and that’s just wonderful about Oklahoma, in general. Everybody’s showin’ it, it’s not just churches, it’s everyone in general,” he said. “Second, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Oklahomans seem to be the worst for that. We don’t like to ask for help, we like to help, but we don’t like to ask for it. So don’t be afraid to ask.”

For more information on needed donated items visit

Hannah Cruz