Reina P. Cunningham
While the tragic tornado outbreak in Oklahoma has made headlines across the nation, one family’s story in particular has impacted a group of kids from Gateway Christian Academy in such a way they have decided to step up and do their part to help.
It all began when Erin Moyers heard about the tornadoes and decided to contact her friend, Kim Cooper, who lives in Oklahoma. Moyers was relieved to find out her friend had weathered the storm without incident, but was saddened to hear that Cooper’s friends, the Troxells, had not been so lucky.
Kathy and Kevin Troxell nearly lost everything when a deadly tornado touched down in their hometown of Newcastle. Kevin has already had two surgeries for injuries sustained in the storm. The couple can fit what belongings they were able to salvage into two laundry baskets.
Moyers daughter, Riley, listened to her mother talk to her friend about what was going on and the tragedy weighed on her heart.
One day while Riley and her sisters were doing art projects with friends, they began talking about the tragedy and how they could help.
The young group of five — Riley, 10, Emma, 8, Hayley, 7, Isaac, 10 and Lakyn, 11 — brainstormed and then realized the answer was at their fingertips. What if they sold their artwork and donated the funds raised to the victims?
Riley summed up how the kids felt in the simple, yet heartfelt, way that any 10-year-old would.
“It’s so sad,” said Riley. “That’s why we wanted to help.”
Her friend, Isaac, imagined what he would want strangers to do if he were in the tragic situation the Troxells are in.
“I just want to follow Jesus’ footsteps in helping people because some day I may need help and maybe I’ll have someone to help me,” said Isaac.
Thanks to support from Jim Brown Supply, A Touch of Class and Johnco, the group of kids will get the opportunity to do just that next Saturday at what they are calling an art festival.
The festival will take place rain or shine on June 8, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Jim Brown Supply, and will feature balloons, face painting, popcorn, baked goods, art and donated items that will be for sale. At 2:30 p.m., a mystery door prize will be given away in a raffle. Tickets are just $1 a piece.
All of the money raised will go to the Troxell family.
Erin said she is proud of her daughters and their friends for what they are trying to do to give back to complete strangers.
“It’s vitally important to teach them about God first, love, family and giving back,” said Erin. “That is what I have always instilled into my children.”
Erin is not the only one who is touched by the children’s kindness. Kathy and Kevin are moved beyond words.
“I’m not sure any words could describe how much this has touched Kevin and I,” said Kathy. “It feels so good to know that there are children in this crazy world who obviously are being raised right, with hearts so big!”
Kathy said she hopes to get to meet the children who have impacted her life soon and will always have a special place in her heart for them.
“The thought itself is overwhelming. We hope to meet them all soon,” continued Kathy. “God is good and the perfect provider and we will pray for this family forever!”
For more information contact Riley, Emma or Hayley at 606-302-7195 or Isaac and Lakyn at 606-499-6050.
Reach Reina P. Cunningham at 606-248-1010, ext. 205, firstname.lastname@example.org.