Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Red Cross and Fema May Be Gone But Oso is....Oso Strong!

Yesterday I mentioned that the Red Cross and FEMA were no longer in the area of Oso, but remember, the landslide happened on March 22nd and that is almost two months ago.  They were still very visible and active two weeks ago when we were in the area.

The people in the area of Oso, Arlington and Darrington are very resilient much like those whose homes were ravaged by tornadoes, however, the area where the slide occurred to the best of my knowledge will NEVER be the same, there will never be new homes built and right many of these people still have no homes to live in.

With that said, I can tell you there are still many people in the area working with these families, working to help them complete what needs to be done for FEMA help, working tirelessly and non stop to raise money for those in need and fire department.

Fire Department Sign
I really feel deeply that the Oso Fire Deparment deserves a new sign, one that shines as they do, one that might be solar powered or electric but that allows people to see them.  Perhaps a chain saw wooden one that fits into the landscape.

Everywhere you look are signs saying we are 'Oso strong,' and from the people I met I can tell you that is so true!
A new bence and someone stopped by and left flowers!

More flowers planted!

This just reminded my granddaughter of a smile!

Some of the students in the area, made huge plastic buckets filled with flowers for the Oso fire department and each bucket had a note from the students.  Someone has lovingly planted them here and in another area behind the fire station.

When we arrived last time it was bustling with people.  On Thursday there was just us and this adorable little Red-Headed Woodpecker that kept pecking on the metal siren, you could hear his tink, tink, tink as his beak hit the metal!

Pecking Away

I think he realized it wasn't working

Circling around!

I parked in the back, opened the van, and sat in the back on the floor listening to the woodpecker, the babbling of the river in the background and thought of how this area must have been prior to the landslide as it is truly still very beautiful and peaceful in so many areas.

There are so many that are still working behind the scenes and haven't stopped, from local business owners to local volunteers and yes to people I still have not met.

One of these amazing people are Jana Hecla. From the moment she heard the news, she rushed out to help, she has run from Darrington to Arlington to Everett and wherever else they have asked her to go for supplies and things needed.

What is more amazing is Jana gets up early and is raising a two year old granddaughter so they both journey from early morning until late in the evening to help where they can, to do what they can.
Jana (in ponytails) and me
 Each time I have talked to her or text with her, she is off and running and the day before I left for Oso, I decided this woman who is so dedicated to helping all these people, who loves her community, who is raising a grandchild as I am raising three, is so deserving of a quilt to wrap up in with her granddaughter at night!

Now, here is where you learn how amazing these people are, first she said no and then when she realized I was not taking no for an answer, she began to cry.  You see, the people who receive these beautiful quilts you have made for them, do not think they are doing anything to deserve them, they are just helping to rebuild their community!

Jana is also the lady behind this fund raiser.  Now remember, Darrington is just tiny and they have one grocery store in town, a few businesses and I am sure they jumped right away to give, but even Arlington is only so big and everyone has been so generous.

Layers of Hope - Quilting 911 blessed them with 3 quilts and 2 beautiful bags and I was lucky enough to get the manager of our local VF Outlet store to donate two nice Seattle Seahawk Championship shirts for the auction, but other stores would not or could not donate to Oso.

Many of you reading my blog know others who make soap, cards, amazing crafts, own your own store or manage stores, if you would like to contribute something for Oso Caring to auction off to benefit the survivors and the fire department in the area, please check out the OsoCaring on Facebook and tell Jana I sent you there!

The auction is being held on May 31st and I truly hope to be up there with another load of quilts and perhaps to just volunteer for a little while and love on these people who have lost so much.

Yes, people are missing, there are still funerals being held and there are people who have lost everything, but to coin their saying, from all I have seen, they are OSO strong and will come through this with amazing grace!

Volunteers mean the world to Oso and quilters volunteer so much of their time, fabric, money and love and prayers, I wanted you to know that these people are truly amazed at what you have all done for them!

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From head to heart to hands, I quilt! I May Only Be One Person, But Together We Can Make A Difference. Bless you for stopping by!