From Minot to Oregon, giving a helping hand
MINOT, N.D. – Labor Day can be a great time to spend with family and relax outdoors.
However for the Shellabargers, this year’s holiday turned into a nightmare.
This Oregon family’s devastating story and how a local Minot family came to help out them and their community.
Sept. 7 will be a day that the Shellabarger family never forgets. That holiday, this Oregon family had an average day. The kids were playing outside everything was calm, until nightfall hit.
“Before I went to bed. Boom! Like I went outside to smoke my cigarette and all of sudden, I can see fire and I can see the orange,” said Robert Shellabarger.
Within minutes, Robert gathered his family and the few items they could grab and fled for safety.
“We grabbed a guitar and couple of other small things. We forgot birth certificates and receipts and important stuff. Cause we were in a panic,” said Shellabarger.
After several evacuations, the family eventually reached a safe zone in Woodburn. While living in a hotel with a limited number of personal items, the family traveled down to Lyons. That’s where they met Minot resident Lydnsie Ferrell at a donation bank.
The Ferrell family traveled more than a thousand miles with a semi-truck full of donations from the Magic City to help out Oregon families who lost their homes.
“I got in the vehicle truck loaded and I left Minot on Sunday. So here we are, everybody is set up. I even had a team of volunteers yesterday to get the big semi unloaded,” said Ferrell.
The Ferrell’s grew up in Oregon, before traveling to Minot to help rebuild after the flood in 2011. She said that in many ways, Minot and Oregon understand what it’s like going through these tragedies.
“I think Minot in a sense gets the devastation after the flood that happened there. It’s going to take time. I mean they are all rebuilding. It’s trauma,” said Ferrell.
The Shellabarger family heard about the donations coming in from Minot on the news and came to the event to gather supplies for his family.
“They were awesome. They were generous. They tried to give us so much more than we could carry, but we could carry so much only literally having the car,” said Shellabarger.
Giving North Dakota nice, a whole new meaning.
The Ferrell’s will be returning to Minot this weekend. They will be keeping in touch with many families who were displaced to help them out as best they can.
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