Rising from the Rubble….Casey’s Tornado Story


I have a friend named Casey.

I first met Casey in the Spring of 2000. I was a 27 year old unemployed new father.

In order to not be a complete deadbeat for my wife and new baby boy, I decided it would probably be the decent thing to do, if I went ahead and got a job.

So, as a young man, with a college degree in broadcast journalism, who had zero television stations knocking down my door, I decided to wait tables.

I took a job at a popular restaurant in Norman, Oklahoma called Charleston’s. Casey was one of the first people I met. In fact, I’m pretty sure she was assigned to me as a trainer.

Here I am, 27, college educated, being trained by a snotty nosed college sophomore. Just in case you wondered, humble pie is thick, and it tastes like chicken strips.

Truthfully, Casey was not snotty nosed, to the best of my recollection anyway, but she was nice. Casey and I worked there together until I left in 2002.

I haven’t seen her since.

Until today.

You see, my friend Casey, lost her home in the May 20th tornado in Moore, Oklahoma. She’s no longer at that restaurant waiting tables, she too, now has a college degree, and a good job at a local recycling company.

But she has no home.

What she does have, is the heart of a frickin’ lion.

I saw her today because, in the last two days, we’ve reconnected on Facebook. I’m not sure why we never did before, and I’m not sure why it happened now, but it did. So I contacted her, asked her if she needed anything.

She said she had some stuff in her sister’s garage that was donated to her, that she doesn’t have room for right now. I told her I’d be right over.

Her sister’s garage is PACKED, but here’s the thing. It’s packed with items Casey has gathered, to give to families in need.

She has one long row for her next door neighbor Robin. Casey collected clothes and household items for Robin, as well as some toy donations for her two little girls.

There’s another row for a different neighbor,  Jaclyn. It contains more items that Casey has gone out and gathered for her friend in need.

Then, Casey asked her sister’s neighbors, if they knew of anyone. Sure enough, one family knew of a young family, who lost it all, and have nothing to move into their rental home. Mom and dad and an 11 month old boy, with nothing. So Casey sends me a message on Facebook, telling me about this family, and how we need to help them. We’ve already secured bedroom and dining room furniture, and more clothes than the little baby boy could ever wear.

She’s talked to me about getting local realtors to “adopt” families, so the realtor does the legwork looking for housing, while the families put the pieces of their life back together.

She’s already begun raising money to pay for counselors for those who have lost loved ones.

Do I need to remind you that Casey lost her home in this storm too?

I thought I knew what Humble Pie tasted like. I was wrong. It tastes nothing like chicken strips.

God bless you Casey.

P.S. Thanks to her donations today, Victory Disaster Relief Fund immediately donated her items to a family of 6! They had lost EVERYTHING, and now they have a start.

You can give to the Victory Disaster Relief fund HERE!

If you want one of those good looking shirts I have on in this picture with my friend named Casey, you can go HERE!



8 thoughts on “Rising from the Rubble….Casey’s Tornado Story

  1. Cindy Swearingen

    I was Casey’s highschool.counselor. No surprise that she is an outstanding young lady, just as she was at Okmulgee High School. She is a true blessing yo all.who know her.

    • Linda Moore

      Well, reading your story, has made this “Momma” weep like a baby. You are quite an author. This Casey MUST have a HEART OF GOLD. How many of us reading your story would fathom channeling our energies to help so many others….when, in deed, our life (like Casey’s) had met such devastation and uncertainty. It almost would make me wonder if this story were true………but then, again, I sent a friend request to you on FB today because Casey asked me to. You see, I am Casey’s Momma & you have written one of the most accurate accounts of my daughter’s character…..maybe even better than I could! Thank you for your support of her and all of those effected by the destruction Mother Nature dealt them. She is blessed and I know you are among her blessings.

  2. Jenny Brooks

    I grew up with Casey. We were in dance together. She is an amazing person and this story just proves it even more!!

  3. Diane Selph

    I must say I’m not too surprised, knowing her parents. She had great examples And they have every reason to be proud. What a great story!

  4. Bill Fuson

    Charleston’s is one big family that sticks with us. Glad to see you reunited and staying strong in trying times. Condolences to Casey for her loss,

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