Tuesday morning I posted, Do You Know Peyton Manning? asking for your help. Wednesday afternoon we were successful!! I want to share details and thank everyone for the kindness of their efforts. For those that saw the post, you know that Jenn, an Air Force wife, wanted to help an Air Force family who lost everything in the tornado. For those that missed it, here’s the short version in pictures.
A treasured photo found in the rubble of the Brown home
This is the Brown family’s home. Mom, Dad and son rode out the tornado here.
This is the storm shelter the Brown family was in.
Robin finds out
Robin Brown didn’t know we were doing this until she saw the link on Jenn’s Facebook page.
JENN: I don’t normally ask my friends and family to share things on FB, but this is one time I am going to do just that….. I would like to ask each of my friends to read this blog and to share it on your FB time-line, and if you can get your friends to share it, then even better! My friend Robin and her family have been through a lot and if we can just get the right people to see this then we might just be able to make this happen!!
Robin was surprised and then so very moved as messages and emails started coming in. Here are a few:
—I met Robin Brown when we were stationed at Keesler AFB, MS. Always there with a kind word, prayer, and a smile. If you have any idea who may have any connections to Peyton Manning, this would be incredible for this Moore, OK family. In the meantime we will continue to keep this community in our hearts and prayers.
… “My friend tweeted this to Eli Manning!!
…That is such a great thing you are trying to do. I pray this msg gets to Peyton and it helps the family find some peace after that terrible tornado.
…My friend was a Colts cheerleader while Peyton was there. I’ll forward to her
…Shared it with a good friend in CO…..see if he has any connections???
…Gina, I am a long-time Indiana resident and NFL fan who happens to follow several of Peyton’s old Indianapolis Colts teammates. I have sent a Facebook emails to some of them to see if we can reach Peyton. Hoping to help heal some emotional wounds with a small gift!
…Olivia and Archie (Peyton’s parents) live in New Orleans, which is where I’m from. I’ll check with someone who I think knows them. I’ll let you know ASAP.
…I live in Durham, N.C. (home of Duke University). I don’t have a connection personally but Duke’s head football coach David Cutcliffe was Peyton’s coach at Tennessee. Peyton has been here for training over the last couple of seasons. Here’s the email address to Duke’s football office.
The real “win”
Jenn shared a text she got from Robin:
Jennifer you’re awesome! I saw your link last night and was taken back at how my friends and my Air Force family have been so kind. You realize even if we only do a quick chat or share recipes, or lives on candy crush you still have that bond of friendship for life and when one of our own are in need we step up and try to take care of each other. I don’t know how I can replace the kindness of others but know if any one of my Air Force friends or other friends ever are in need I will mimic the same kindness I have been given. I love you all! I know “thank you” is all I got but its not enough to repay the kindness of so many people that have touched our lives. Love to you and all my friends!
After Jenn saw that, she told me,
“You know what? Even if we don’t succeed, we’ve already won. For Robin to see how much people care and to really feel it? That’s the win right there.”
My new favorite TV channel in Denver
Jenn also shared the post on pages such as Air Force family support, sports, talk shows, and a news channel in Denver. She wrote:
I am an Air Force wife… When you move from duty station to duty station you build a whole new family… an Air Force family. No matter how far away you live from that family you have built, when something happens to one of those family members you try to help them any way you can… you reach out to anyone you can think of… This is the story of my friend Robin and her family they lost everything in the tornado in OK...
Deb Stanley, a multimedia journalist for ABC News Channel 7 in Denver responded. Their sportscaster, Lionel Bienvenu, would see Peyton at practice the next day. She asked Lionel to help.
Check your messages!!
When you lose your entire home you also lose things like your phone charger. Robin was trying to find one when her son said, “Mom! Jenn says to check your messages!!” When Robin was finally able to, she read:
OMG!! We did it!! I just got a message from ABC 7 news in Denver… The sports anchor Lionel Bienvenu reached out to Peyton and they are going to get you another signed photo!!!
What I like to imagine is that moment when Robin turned around and told Steve. When, in the middle of a bad news week, she was able to share news that came with a whole lot of good. Good thoughts, good prayers and the always good…kindness of strangers, including Peyton Manning.
A loss for words
Jenn and Robin are both struggling to find words that capture how thankful they are. I know how they feel. How can I convey how grateful I am to all my readers, to all who shared and reached out, to my new favorite TV channel in Denver and to Mr. Manning?
You know, the Browns will have a beautiful photo long before they’ll have a wall to hang it on. But I hope that when the road ahead gets tough, that they can look at that photo and know how many people are rooting for them. To know that they are not alone. I thank you all for giving them that gift.
© Gina left the mall, 2013