Moore Mayor discusses clean-up as kindness, volunteering continu

Moore Mayor discusses clean-up as kindness, volunteering continues

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MOORE -

Seventeen-year-old Rachel Wenrich and her 8-year-old brother T.J. drove more than 20 hours with their mom to deliver a very personal gift: dozens of bags with more than 1,000 teddy bears they collected for kids in Moore.

"We figured if they lost everything they also lost their special friends so we wanted to give them a new one that they could have," Rachel said.

"It's just so nice that people haven't forgotten," said mom and 2nd grade teacher Gina Janzen upon hearing the news about the teddy bears.

Like thousands of others, Gina and her family have been living in a hotel. She and her two children were both buried under the rubble in her classroom at Briarwood Elementary.

"Everybody was screaming 'help me help me I can't breathe,'" recalled 7-year-old Kade.

He doesn't like to think about May 20 because he says he doesn't want to remember what happened.

But both he and his mom say they're forever grateful for people like the Wenrichs. They encounter others like them all the time.

PROGRESS IN MOORE

Exactly eight weeks after the storm, Serve Moore still reports seeing about 200 volunteers a day.

And the city is quickly clearing the mess.

"We're two months out and we're about 90 percent picked up," said Mayor Glenn Lewis.

More than 130,000 tons of debris has been trucked away. And flat fields are all that's left of full neighborhoods. But Lewis says that won't last for long.

"Most of the homebuilders I've talked to have said almost everyone is building about 300 square feet larger than what they had before."

With new homes they plan for better public spaces. Destroyed Veterans Memorial Park is part of an online contest for a $100,000 renovation grant. That contest ends Monday at 11:59 p.m.

It's another way folks in Moore hope to help put their lives and their community back together.

"We're just staying positive and trying to think about the good things and the good people like those people," Gina said about the visiting family from Pennsylvania.

She says it's nice to know others still care. And Kade looks forward to getting a bear of his own. He says he'd like one that's soft.

The children who do get a bear will also get one of hundreds of handwritten notes from schoolchildren in Pennsylvania. Rachel says they all contain the same general message:

"We're here for you, Pennsylvania's here for you. We love you."

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