Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Kind Souls of Joplin and ASB

There are a great number of things that stuck out about this trip to me, however when I try to pinpoint the moments that left the greatest impressions, most have to do with individuals we met along the way or members of our own group. Everywhere we went and everything we did it seemed as if at least one more person was backing our mission, supporting and rooting for us. These kind people only further supported the ideals of ASB by lending a helping hand. It is impossible to deny the generosity the group has seen and shared throughout this year’s journey.   

Some of the kind souls we met along the way were - Dave and Dale Sampson who allowed a group of excited eager kids to stay at their house the night before and drove them to the airport in the morning, the stranger from Pizza Hut who put $100 to our bill after learning what we were doing, the manager who began to get choked up when telling us how grateful he was to have people still helping, , the wonderful workers at Feerick’s Westside Liquor store (especially you Animal J) who allowed us to invade their bathroom for an entire week, Emma and the crew from Branson Zipline who made sure Joplin was able to go ziplining and donated bracelets to our group, the fantastic workers at Starbuck who supplied us with caffeine for the work day, Mrs. Knox who greeted the group at Logan with flowers for all, our dear friends Scott and Howard who guided us along our way, and of course Rhonda herself for allowing us to be a part of the efforts to Restore Joplin. There are many more people we were fortunate enough to meet over the journey. Thank you all for the support and help you offered us, you helped us worker harder, longer and stronger.

The group of 26 individuals who embarked on this journey has left the largest mark on my heart. I am so proud and impressed by the group of young, hardworking, good willed and determined individuals I was able to work and travel with. It was an honor to work alongside you as you devoted your efforts and energy into improving the life of strangers. You all inspire me to be better, work harder, joke more, believe in humanity and to love the lives we are given. I care deeply about all of you and each and every one of you holds a very special place in my heart from here on out. The things we built – relationships, a stronger home, a brighter future, a new sense of hope, and our own family – cannot and will not ever be destroyed. Let us continue to love one another, remain flexible, humorous, hardworking, and generous. May you continue to make this world a more connected, more hopeful, kinder and overall better place. Remember, you do not need to be on a work site to perform acts that make this world a little bit nicer, more loving and accepting place. Thank you all for sending me off on my last ASB with a full heart, exceeded expectations, stronger belief in humanity and a stronger understanding of what it means to give and receive love, support and faith. I love you all.

We are not longer a group of strangers, we are a family dedicated to one common goal and we supported and guided each other through the emotional, eye-opening, exhausting, and empowering experience that is Alternative Spring Break. Once again, ASB has changed lives, including my own. Thank you all for this beautiful, inspiring journey. I could never thank you enough.

<3 Kendra Dale

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