Piedmont group recalls helping Moore, Okla., tornado victims

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HIGH POINT, N.C. -- Triad volunteers who helped the people of Moore, Okla., say it was a life changing mission.

"Words can't express it," says George Royster, a member of the Northern Piedmont UMC, Disaster Recovery Team. "We took a little, but we got a lot."

The team spent a week last June helping clear debris so people could rebuild their homes.

"You can see it in pictures or even on television but to be there in person and everywhere you look, 360 degrees, was nothing but devastation," said Rev. Dr. Tim Porter of Mitchell's Grove United Methodist Church in High Point. "You learn to be grateful, thankful for what you have and value the time you have with your friends and relatives more."

Members of the team recall discovering cherished possessions for people, including a working cell phone that contained the only photographs left of a family's newborn baby. "All the pictures they had left were on that cell phone," said Royster.

The makeshift memorial fence that surrounded the local school where seven 3rd graders lost their lives left an impression on the volunteers.

"They had cross for each one of them there," said John Beck. "That fence was covered banners -- stuff from everywhere."

The team left a banner themselves.