11-year-old collects donations for tornado victims

Posted Wednesday, Jun. 12, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Like many people, Lance Perry was glued to his television set on May 20, watching news coverage of the Moore, Okla., tornado that killed 24 and injured more than 300 people.

Perry, a Keller resident, said his 11-year-old daughter Rivers also watched and shortly afterward, wanted to help.

“I asked her, ‘What do you want to do?’” Perry said.

Perry and Rivers had a discussion and decided to collect items for the victims.

“She went next door, borrowed a red wagon, washed it out and the next thing you know I’m doing wagon duty while she goes knocking door-to-door” he said. “The outpouring was pretty cool.”

Perry said they returned home with a wagon overflowing with non-perishables, clothes, toys and books.

“We filled up the trunk that evening,” he said. “My wife headed to Tom Thumb and added more groceries, then off we went with the truck filled to the brim.”

Perry said when they arrived in Moore the traffic was snarled in every direction and normal access roads were blocked off so they pulled into a parking lot, where they heard the first of several stories about the storm’s devastation.

One man, heading to see his house for the first time, said he rode out the storm in a ditch.

The man also gave Perry directions to a donation center at a nearby church.

“We saw children walking down the sidewalk with cuts on their faces,” Perry said. “People were traumatized.”

Perry said they arrived to find the church running like a “well oiled machine.”

Rivers said it was sad seeing so much destruction, but was glad she decided to help.

“I just felt bad for all of the people,” Rivers said.

“I have a lot of stuff, I’m pretty lucky ... I was thinking if it was me, I would want someone to bring me food, water, toys and stuff that I lost,” Rivers said.

Perry, who has always told his daughter that just one person can make a difference, is glad she wanted to put her words into action and help people.

“It’s nice being a dad of someone who wants to do that,” he said.

Susan McFarland, 817-390-7547 Twitter: @susanmcfarland1

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