Monday Mission, 5/23/2011
Caroline Summers is Samford’s senior staff photographer. She was on special assignment for the Associated Press in the immediate aftermath of the April 27 storms in Alabama. Caroline sent this message to me, with the subject line, “Proud Does Not Contain It.”
“Yesterday I went to Pratt City to photograph our students helping out at Scott Elementary School. There were many students who showed up to sort clothes, haul water, prepare food. Jazmine Powers, a basketball player, came in with several football players to reload their truck with items to distribute in the community and offered for me to ride along. The students included Jazmine, Devyn Keith, Jeremy Towns, Jacobi Rodriguez, and Bill Kottas. These students were so calm and so supportive of everyone they came in contact with as they passed out sandwiches, water, toilet paper and such. However, there was one moment in particular that stole my heart. A lady pulled up in her car and Devyn stopped her to see if she needed anything. She asked him if he was going to take care of her. He said, "No, ma'am. I can't take care of you. God's gonna take care of you. I'm just gonna help out." Well, that's all it took; the woman broke down crying in her car. The students reached in and hugged her and just let her cry it out. She said it was the first time she'd been able to cry since the tornado. Devyn loaded her up with sandwiches and other supplies and told her that he loved her and that everything was going to be alright. I've had to cover several tornadoes for UPI and AP in my career. I've heard people calling out for their loved ones after the storm and watched people digging through the remains of their homes. However, I will say that I have never been so moved as I was at that moment with Devyn and the other students and that woman. They gave her a lot more than sandwiches and toilet paper; they gave her hope and that's what those people need more than anything.”
The world is better because of Jazmine, Devyn, Jeremy, Jacobi, and Bill.
ABOUT SAMFORD UNIVERSITY -- Samford University is a premier nationally ranked private university deeply rooted in its Christian mission. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th oldest institution of higher education in the United States. U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 3rd among regional universities in the South. Samford enrolls 5,509 students from 45 states, the District of Columbia and 29 other countries in its 10 academic units: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy, and public health. Samford also fields 17 NCAA Division I teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference.