Good Samaritans take to the highway!
This act of kindness started with a text and resulted in a 12-hour road trip.
That’s how long it took for 3 New Yorkers to deliver clean water to West Virginia, where a chemical spill left 300,000 residents without tap water for a week.
Angelina Sarro, a senior at East Rockaway High School in New York — an area affected by Superstorm Sandy in 2012 — knew her social studies teacher, Don Poland, was the man to contact when it comes to paying it forward. Last year, Poland organized a student trip to bring aid to Moore, Oklahoma after a deadly tornado tore through the town. Now, after learning about the situation in West Virginia, Angelina wanted to do more than just watch it on the news.
Poland got right to work. He began gathering donations of bottled water by driving around town in his van and then setting up tents in front of the school so parents and passersby could drop off cases.
In about a week, they collected 227 cases and more than 100-gallon bottles of water, according to the “Pay It Forward East Rockaway” Facebook page.
Last Saturday, Poland, Angelina, and her dad, Frank Sarro, set out to make the delivery. They ended up in Clendenin, West Virginia, and found everything was closed.
“It was haunting, like a twilight zone, really. We eventually came across a church.”
“It isn’t by coincidence that they stopped by my church first,” Pastor Charles LaRue of Clendenin Church of the Nazarene said. “We just gave away several cases of water instead of selling it, believing God would bless us for it.”
People eagerly helped unload water cases from the truck and for the next few hours, they drove to other churches in the area in need as well.
“It was all really powerful, how that simple little text turned into all that.”
When they returned to LaRue’s church, they found the sign out front had a new message:
Churchgoers also collected gas money to pay for their new friends’ trip back to New York.
“It was great, but the idea was not to take care of us,” Poland said. “I told them, ‘In the future, you take care of somebody else.'”
What a great story in kindness and going the extra mile (no pun intended). When you have God’s JOY in your heart, the 12-hour drive goes quickly!
Matthew 11:30 says, “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Featured Image Credit: Getty Images