“I was working at the volunteer center today for victims of the Missouri tornado and while I was packing up my things to go home, I was stopped by one of the workers. She was with a couple in their 60s. She sat them down at my table and they explained to me that they had just received clean undergarments within the last hour. They had not changed clothes in 5 days after their house was destroyed by the tornado.

She explained to me that this was the first time they had stopped to even breathe all week, and it was cold outside but they were trying to salvage the items that they could from their home. Their home was literally obliterated.

Alhamdulillah, they were not caught in the tornado as they saw it coming from the north side of town and stopped their car. It was only by the grace of Allah that they didn’t go home because they had no basement and likely would not have survived. They said that their couch was forced down a hallway, literally ripping the walls apart. Glass shards are stuck in what’s left of pieces of their walls, and literally everything inside has been shredded.

This woman explained that she had been working on her home all week and her ballet slippers, the only shoes she had left, were completely destroyed on the bottom from stepping on glass and other debris. Her feet were on the verge of being cut, yet she still worked to dig through what was left of her home to find photographs and memories from 60 years of life.

They have nothing left and are staying in a hotel in Blue Springs, MO. She began crying when I told her that the Muslim community would have a pair of boots dropped off to their hotel within the hour.

I knew I could make this promise because of the immediate response from all of the sisters volunteers helping me all week. Not only did a sister spring into action to get her a pair of work boots, she also bought both her and her husband some clothing so that they could change and wear something warm and dry the next day. Our donor didn’t want to share what she had told me, which is typical, but I told her it’s important for us to let the community know that our neighbors in Oak Grove are appreciative. They see us the way we see them; with humanity.”

— Sr. Kelly Strother, Women’s Shelter Manager in Missouri, currently leading Disaster Relief effort in her state.

(March 2017, Missouri)