Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma is giving The Salvation Army a matching grant of up to $15,000 to help us help the wildfire victims and it’s not a second too soon. I just can’t get my mind off the stories I’ve heard from the Mannford area. It’s hard for me to imagine how people are coping with such loss.
Major Jim Taylor has been to the emergency center several times in the last few days. Today, he told me about meeting a man named James and his dog, Jojo. James lives a mile from the highway, “out in the middle of nowhere,” Maj. Taylor said.
“He said he lives in a mobile home and Jojo woke him up as soon as it caught fire. He escaped in his truck." James makes a living by collecting junk metal in a trailer he pulls behind his truck. He left the trailer behind and the wheels melted. So here’s a guy who lost his home and his livelihood all in one night.
"He’s just thankful for his life and his dog,” Maj. Taylor said."
The week before last, Major Taylor met a couple who was volunteering by helping victims at the Lake Church near Mannford. We’ll call them the Joneses. Friday, he saw Mr. Jones at the emergency command center. When he asked Mr. Jones what he was doing there, he revealed that he and his wife had lost everything. Maj. Taylor was humbled that he had been volunteering the week before. “Well, we just figured we’d do what we could for other folks before we started working on ours,” he said. That is what a hero looks like.
A $15,000 matching grant to help people like these is what a corporate hero looks like. Thank you, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma.