MANATEE -- It began with a Facebook status update:
“Anyone wanna to go with me to Joplin, MO? I want to help out as much as I can, anyone that wants to go let me know.”
With that short message, Shawn Carr gathered five of his friends to join him on his mission to help those affected by last week’s devastating tornado.
“Honestly, I feel like God called me to do something,” Carr said. “I want to help people. I saw the footage and I couldn’t imagine that happening in the place like Bradenton.”
And if it did, he said, he knows others would come here to help.
At least 142 people have been reported dead as a result of the May 22 storm, according to reports. About 3,000 people are said to volunteering in the area.
Carr is asking for other Bradenton residents to join his group when they set off June 9 to volunteer with the American Red Cross. They’ll return on either June 14 or 15.
“You sleep at night under a roof in the air conditioning. You can eat when you want, and you know you have family around,” Carr said, referring to his blessings. “A lot of people in Joplin, unfortunately, don’t have that.”
Carr is hoping to get at least five more people to join him on the trip.
Kameron Pyne, 19, agreed to go because “it sounded like a good idea to help,” he said.
“I’m nervous and stuff, but those nerves will change to good feelings once I star helping people,” Pyne said.
Carr said anyone who wants to come on the trip, or would like to donate to cover part of their expenses, can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.