Infant Crisis Services is half way through our annual "10 Dollars in 10 Days" campaign. Usually, the video campaign focuses on our mission and our clients, but this year, we chose to focus on a very special donor instead.
Her name is Stephanie Stills. She is a 19-year-old nursing student from Moore. I met Stephanie on May 22 in the parking lot of Platt College in Moore. Our organization set up in that parking lot for several weeks following the tornado. We distributed diapers, formula, water, baby goods, food and other miscellaneous items that were donated in the aftermath of the disaster.
While assisting with the tornado relief efforts, Stephanie came up and handed me a $10 bill. All she said was "I found this on the ground, and I want you to have it. So many people have given to us, and I just want to give back."
She didn't tell me her name or her story. She simply handed me the money and started to walk away. I watched as the young woman walked over to a small, compact car with rental plates. Inside, I could see a hodge podge of personal belongings that you ordinarily would not see in the backseat of a car. It was apparent this family had just been through a lot.
I went up to the car and asked if there was anything they needed. Very humbly, Stephanie's mother said "No, save it for someone who needs it more." As I stood and talked with the family, I learned they had just lost their home two days earlier. They lived one block away from Plaza Towers Elementary School. On May 20, Stephanie picked up her younger brother from the school and took him home. The family didn't have a storm shelter, so they got into the bathtub and their mother laid on top of them as the tornado ripped apart their house. I still shutter when I look at the picture of their home... the only thing untouched was the bathtub. I later learned the family was at Platt College because Stephanie's dad was borrowing a pair pants from one of her professors. This family lost everything, they didn't even have a change of clothes, yet when they found a $10 bill on the ground, they thought not of themselves, but of others.
Stephanie's story had such a huge impact on me. Her act of selflessness made me search my own heart. If I lost everything, would I still be charitable? If I found money on the ground just days after my life was turned upside down, would I give it away? If Stephanie could give $10 during her family's greatest time of need, how much more should I be giving to others less fortunate? I felt compelled to share her story, and I am thankful that she was willing to participate in our "10 Dollars in 10 Days" campaign. Please take a moment and watch the video at www.10dollarsin10days.org, and consider joining the movement. If Stephanie can give $10, can you?
Posted on Mon, November 11, 2013
by Melissa Smuzynski filed under