Following the tornado and hurricanes that destroyed much of the central U.S., an Oklahoma resident found pieces of paper falling from the sky in her yard outside her home in West Tulsa.
Leslie Hagelberg realized that belongings of people living in the area affected by the tornado had found their way into her yard. She logged into her Facebook account and found out that many people in her neighborhood were posting about their missing possessions.
Hagelberg then decided to use the social media platform to reunite tornado-struck people with their missing belongings. She created a Facebook page entitled ‘May 19th 2013 OK Tornado Doc & Picture Recovery.’ It is an open group and Hagelberg has also posted the following instruction:
“Please post any pictures or documents that blow into your yard in hopes of returning them to those impacted by the tornado.”
As of Tuesday morning nearly 7,300 members had joined the group posting pictures and stuff they found in their yards belonging to other residents of the area. The response was amazing. More than 60 items have been claimed by their owners with the help of the Facebook page. Hagelberg has also created separate pages for pets and photos.
The photo above was posted by Billy Young on the page. He wrote:
“I very sparsely covered about 30 more acres of my back yard today. This find made me consider my good fortune even more than the things I found yesterday. Since the tornadic storm from Shawnee/Prague yesterday and the storm from Moore today both passed within a few miles of my house, I don't know when this fell. However, it is an unused intact 3-copy progress report, so I believe it had to come from a school and not a home. I also found two sheets of completed children's schoolwork. It is a sad day for many families in Moore today.”
Following the incredible response from people, she also posted a set of important instructions so as to avoid any security issues. She said:
“Don't post SS#'s or Bank Information! If you have found something that you wouldn't
feel comfortable sharing personally then please don't share it.”
Laesli Hagelberg’s idea has helped many people to reunite with their belongings. Some of the pictures posted on the page are old baby pictures and important official documents. In a time like this when the residents of Oklahoma (and other parts of central U.S.) have been deprived of a lot their belongings and in some cases relatives and friends, Hagelberg’s Facebook page has become a source of hope and comfort for many.