The Gonzales family of Poteet believes they have been blessed and have recently extended their blessings to the people of Oklahoma on Wednesday, March 22. Sammy and Leslie Gonzales and the kind people of Bar ES Ranch donated a total of 52 bales of hay to those who are hurting after wildfires in Oklahoma have devastated over 100 thousand acres of land.
It began with seeing posts on social media about the fires in Oklahoma through friends they met through horse shows. A friend in Seminole, TX was helping to coordinate donations for people who have suffered through the fires. The Gonzales own Diamond L Trucking and offered their friends the use of their trucks to transport their hay donation. Two of their drivers, Ed Gorman and Raymond Solis assisted them with the loading and transport of the hay. Also helping with the transport were their daughters Christabella and Kelsey and Sam Solis.
The group left on Wednesday morning at 3 a.m. to make the 10 hour drive to their destination near Forgan, OK. On their way into Oklahoma, their daughters were astonished to see charred animal remains and land completely covered in ash. They met up with Rodney Albert of the Albert Ranch to deliver the hay and had a chance to talk with him about the devastation.
He was blessed we took him the hay because he said his neighbors needed the hay, too. He was kind of sharing with the neighbors around there that needed the hay. Even though people in Texas had a lot of hay and they had cut off people up in the Panhandle, still Oklahomas in desperate need of hay for their animals. Many of the people lost a lot of cows in the fires, said Sammy.
The pilots who were flying planes to help put the fires out estimated the fire was travelling at least 75 mph. They described the flames being 30 feet high and the fast-approaching fire could be seen from a distance. Albert also mentioned his neighbor had lost 48 of his 75 cows in the fire. The Albert family watched the fires completely surround their home, and by what they can only describe as a miracle, their home was untouched by the fire. He made a promise he would pay the kind act forward.
Weve farmed and ranched all of our married life. Weve had droughts and floods, but weve never been through something of that extent to where everything was gone, said Sammy.
The trip to Oklahoma and the idea of giving from the heart put many different things in perspective for the Gonzales family. They attempted to put themselves in the shoes of those people who lost everything in the fires. It was important for their children to see the magnitude of the affliction the fires had on families.
When you experience something like that on that level, it makes you realize you have so much to be thankful for and puts a whole new perspective on things. Everything we do is for the glory of God, said Leslie.
The people of Oklahoma are also accepting donations of fencing materials, as most of their fences were destroyed. If you would like to make a donation or need information, you may contact Sammy or Leslie Gonzales by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call (830) 570-0123.