Monday, June 25, 2007

Searching for Jessie

It looks like no matter where in the country you live you have heard the recent story of missing pregnant woman Jessie Davis. Jessie lives about a mile from our new home here in Lake Township. For the past week our little town has been consumed by this story. From what I understand, by Friday it was the nations largest volunteer search & rescue effort ever.

On Saturday, I got to witness our towns incredible compassion first hand as part of the American Red Cross Disaster Services Team. When searchers reached into the thousands the sheriff's department called us in to handle mass feeding and first aid. I arrived at the Greentown Fire Department at 7:00 AM and the line was already forming. The entire operation was amazingly organized. Searchers lined up wrapping around the exterior of the firehouse and entered into a rear bay doors. First stop was registration, each searcher presented their drivers license, and filled out all the necessary forms. Next stop was us, the American Red Cross Chow Line. We had just about every quick breakfast food under the sun. My mom & I worked the line handing out fruit and granola bars. After us they head down the 5 foot tall tunnel of bottled water, donated by Walmart & the Cleveland Indians. Once they were all loaded up they were assigned to teams and packed onto city buses. The most touching part of my experience happened when I watched Jessie's Dad brief the groups. I wasn't close enough to catch everything said but found it incredible that he could compose himself enough to express his gratitude to each volunteer. What motivation that must have given them as they headed off to their assigned section of the search grid.

Once the morning teams had all been dispersed and the fire station fell quiet again the Red Cross switched into lunch mode. There were ladies busy assembling hundreds of lunch meat sandwiches but most would not be needed as delivery after delivery arrived at the fire station door. TGI Fridays, Ponderosa, Bob Evans, and every pizza parlor in the county delivered their donations. Dillard's even donated boxes of Godiva Chocolate Bars. Wow! If the TV stations even hinted at a needed item within the hour we had a hundred of them. The outpouring of support was unreal.

I left around 2:00 PM just shy of the sad announcement that Jessie had been found. I wish it could have been a joyful announcement but I think all of us knew from the beginning that we were working to bring closure for this family.

Please keep Jessie & Chloe's family in your thoughts & prayers.

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