NORMAN — Danni Legg was one of hundreds of May 20 tornado survivors who picked up donated quilts at Moore City Hall on Tuesday and Wednesday. But unlike others walking in looking for quilts, Legg, who lost her house to the Moore tornado, walked away with the promise of a new home.
Legg lost insurance on her house after hail storms came down on Moore in April, although she didn’t realize the house wasn’t covered until it was completely destroyed by the tornado a month later. She’s been staying in a shelter in Edmond for the last several weeks with her two surviving children.
She lost her 9-year-old son, Christopher, to the tornado when he left his classroom at Plaza Towers Elementary School to comfort a friend.
Not only did Legg lose her son, she lost all his belongings, and like several tornado survivors, went to Moore City Hall for a quilt.
But after listening to her story, Kathy Price and Luana Rubin decided to give Legg more than just a quilt.
Rubin from Boulder, Colo., owns eQuilter, a business that sells fabric to quilters around the world who then make quilts for her to distribute to disaster survivors. The day the tornado hit Moore, Rubin started getting calls from quilters asking what they could do.
After a month, she collected 400 handmade quilts and teamed up with Kathy Price, founder and director of Mission of Love Charities, Inc. in Youngstown, Ohio, to drive the quilts to Moore.
The quilts were made for those who lost loved ones, lost their homes or are teachers at damaged schools. By noon Wednesday, 300 quilts had already been taken.
“Because they’re all handmade, it’s really just an expression of love to whoever receives it,” Rubin said.
Many quilters even left personal messages on the backs of their quilts to comfort the survivors.
“The comfort that one of those quilts brings is just incredible,” Price said.
But when Price learned of Legg’s loss, she knew a quilt wouldn’t be enough. She decided to do everything in her power to get Legg a new home.
“I can’t imagine not having a home after having a loss of child,” Price said.
Legg will be the first Moore tornado survivor Mission of Love has helped build a new house, but Price plans to help as many people as she can.
“We need hundreds — we’re just a grassroots organization, but we have to, as a community, start with one,” she said. “Let’s just do it.”
Price is concerned by organizations taking too much time to help survivors find new homes or have gathered vast amounts of money and only distributed a small fraction so far. Quick and simple, Rubin and Price’s strategy when a disaster hits is simply to call each other and say “OK, what are we going to do this time?”
“Because we work with so many of these disasters, a lot of times a month later, it’s onto the next disaster and they forget about the people, but we have not forgotten about them,” Rubin said.
Despite their help, nothing is going to fill the void left by Legg’s son.
“I don’t really care about money right now. I lost my son. I don’t really care,” Legg said.
Those who lost loved ones, who lost homes or who are teachers at damaged schools can pick up any leftover quilts from Stitching Post, 316 N. Broadway Ave. in Moore, for tornado survivors to pick up, and additional quilts will be sent to that location.