I’ve known Mike Vallejo for more than a decade now. He was a friend of my sister who eventually became extended family. His family is dear to ours.
After the tragic tornado in Moore, Oklahoma hit on May 20, we all felt a heaviness in our hearts. What a feeling it must be to have everything gone in an instant. Perhaps even a loved one. It resonates with me still.
It was no surprise to me that big hearted Mike had decided he was going to do something. With a trip to Oklahoma City already planned for work, he decided to fill a truck of donated goods and drive it up to Moore on his way. At first it was going to be a small U-Haul truck, but he realized it would be filled too fast and went with a 20 foot trailer truck.
When I read about Mike’s plan on Facebook, I was ready to help, but being that he was in north San Antonio I had originally planned on just making a monetary donation. Then the idea sparked of getting our local community involved.
After speaking with Mike last Tuesday about setting up the Pleasanton Express as a drop off station we were ready to go. I put together a quick write up asking for donations to run in the print edition and plastered our Facebook page with it in hopes for a decent response considering we were only giving about three days to get donations in.
Well we asked. And boy, did the community answer. We received so many items. The response was great. There were diapers, water, clothes and more spilling out of the original area I had planned to store the items. I sent pics to Mike as things came in. He was so excited to see what all we had received.
With all the rain, the plan to pick up on Saturday was not going to happen. We agreed to meet at the office on Sunday.
When Mike arrived, he was amazed that we gathered so much from a small community. With the help of the Pleasanton Express distribution crew and friends we began loading it up into his truck only to realize that it was not all going to fit. He was going to have to make a second trip.
Monday, Mike’s sister and father came down to the office and we loaded up. Again it did not all fit. They made a third trip to ensure that all the donations were going to be sent off.
It has been great. Could not be more pleased with the support and contributions. A very big thank you to all who donated. A special thanks to Quilts for Kids for their donation of gorgeous blankets for the kids of Moore. Also to South Texas Nutrition for volunteering to be a drop off station.
The Vallejo family sends a big hug and lots of gratitude to the people of Atascosa County. Mike will leave for Oklahoma today. He will be sending me updates. Look for them on our Facebook page.
You can still contribute as Fit180 and the Jourdanton Police Department sponsor the “Run for Moore” 5k funrun to be held Saturday June 8th, 8:00 am at the Jourdanton City Park. The cost is $20 per runner. Entertainment, refreshments, DJ and more will be available. All proceeds go to the American Red Cross/ Oklahoma tornado relief fund. Let’s do what we can!