As natural disasters from tornadoes to wildfires have swept across the nation this spring, a sense of community and mutual support has provided some comfort amid devastation.
On May 21, storms assailed northeast Texas and southwest Arkansas. A large oak tree fell on the Campbell family home. The day after the storm, neighbors appeared with tools in hand and a willingness to help.
“To actually know there are people out there that do care and do love us enough to give us their time and hard work without expecting anything back is amazing,” Lamisha Campbell told KTAL-TV reporter Jade Cunningham.
One of the helpers, Elvis Hodge, said, “It’s like neighbors sticking together and that’s the way it should be.”
An image of neighborly love that went viral online shows Jim Routon hugging his 7-year-old neighbor Hezekiah Darbon outside the Briarwood Elementary School in Moore, Oklah., following a tornado on May 20. When Hezezkiah’s father, Joe Darbon heard his son had been located, and that he was with Routon, he told the BBC, “I knew that he was in good hands.”
Also in Moore, Okla., Binh Du was one of many residents who decided to help others pick up the pieces.
“Most of the stuff in my house is done,” he told Oklahoma’s News 6. Friends and co-workers had helped him sift through the debris of his battered home. “There are people out there who may not have the same kind of help you know,” Du said. “So why just sit at home and do nothing when you can be out here working?”