Saturday, August 9, 2008
A good friend of mine sent me an invite to help distribute materials in the recently flooded Des Moines suburb known as "Birdland." This effort was a local church's effort to make a difference for flood victims.
With Daina working at the time, I told him I would help, but it was a package deal. Me and the three kids. He loved the idea. This morning, we walked around flood ruined homes, and talked to some of the people that had evacuated and were now trying to rebuild. They were happy to meet us.
The church provided a small gift and an invite to a Free Garage Sale by invite only that the flood victims could come to. There will be gently used furniture, appliances, clothing and toys available. The expect to fill a 3,000 foot sanctuary with free items.
Bella, Caroline and Drew, walked down these sad streets holding presents from the church and taking turns giving them to the people living there. I asked them on the way home what they had learned and ultimately there answers were that its nice to help others. They got it.
We talked to one woman for about 30 minutes. Her house was destroyed and she was rebuilding. Her husband was let go from his job the day after the flood, she was ill, he was looking for work. It was tough going. It was as if our news was the first sign of hope this woman had received in a long time.
She will be at the Free Garage Sale, I can count on that. So if our morning spent walking around this neighborhood reaching out to those who needed help only bring this one lady then it was worth it.
The Fleming Kids are planning on giving 3-4 things to the garage sale. Its all they can talk about this afternoon and it makes me humble and proud at the same time. The thought that even young people, my young people, can play a part in the help of others is an amazing thing to witness. And to be quite honest, it feels great.
The Free Garage Sale is at Valley Church, in West Des Moines, August 16, 8 a.m. -1 p.m. Email me if you want details as this is an invite only program specifically for the flood victims.