Monday, September 23, 2013

"Flood Longmont with Food"...

It's interesting how memorable experiences in life are sometimes painful, sweet and inspiring all at the same time. This week has been like that for me. A week ago much of northeastern Colorado experienced a devastating flood. It has affected all who live here and will continue to impact many lives for years to come. Unless you've seen a flood of this magnitude first hand, there's really no way one can comprehend the destruction. The amazing photos don't even do it justice because pictures are so one dimensional. It's hard to explain, but when you are in the middle of the devastation all your senses are painfully aware of the damage around you. You see it. You hear it. You smell it. You feel it. So terribly sad, yet...

I have seen amazing acts of selflessness, compassion and kindness this last week. So many have helped flood victims in one way or another. It has been gratifying to see how communities, churches, organizations and individuals have rallied around those most affected by the chaos. Helping in one way or another has been the norm, not the exception.

On Saturday I was part of an amazing event called "Flood Longmont with Food." This volunteer group of over 150 people -- comprised of students, church members, friends and neighbors -- packed over 1600 sack lunches for other volunteers, first responders and homeowners working "in the trenches" in the most affected areas of our town.

It was an amazing experience to witness this group work together to meet the goal of making 1500 sack lunches. Attached to the lunch bags were sweet handwritten notes created at the event by children of the volunteers thanking the recipients. A sack lunch might fill a stomach, but these notes were priceless. I especially liked one that read, "Weeee thank you. Skip. Skip. Skip." {Rocks skipping over water -- very applicable in flooded areas!}

After the lunches were assembled, delivery drivers with helpers loaded up their cars with over 100 lunches, hygiene kits, and water and took the goods to specific areas of town. I was fortunate enough to be on one of those crews. It was so wonderful to be able to thank the volunteers who were doing the dirty work {taking water/mud out of homes, clearing out basements of mud-soaked furniture, tearing down sheetrock and taking out insulation from homes} in this very tangible way. This was such a meaningful event, and I feel so fortunate to have been a part of it!