This I Believe

Nikki - 67357, Kansas
Entered on December 3, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: community
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Community Success

I believe communities are not successful based on individual successes, but communities are truly successful when they succeed together as a whole. I live in the small town of Parsons, KS, With a population of 11,514. My strong belief in community involvement first began the night my small town of Parsons, KS, with stood the destruction of its first tornado. The loud, continuous siren bellowed reaching our ears causing us to look around in horror. After a minute of complete silence, Mom grabbed the car keys from the small end table and began to tell us in a scared trembling voice, “You need to grab your coats and hurry to the car!” We were all scarred at what was happening. The siren kept sounding continuously causing a stir in my quick beating heart every time it would beckon. Once we were all in the car mom made sure we were putting on our seat belts. She drove forty the whole way, despite the thirty mile speed limit, not bothering to slow down even when the wind began to blow fiercely against the blue minivan. Mom began to slow down when she reached the four way stop on Main Street. We kept driving north toward my grandmothers’ place. I kept looking out every window in my sight. The wind from the tornado alone had caused a lot of money in damage. I seen fences knocked over, buildings losing structure, and vehicle windows shattered. We pulled up, in the driveway, to my grandparents’ house and they were standing outside clearly safe. They were busily cleaning the few misplaced items the ferocious wind had relocated. Mom went to talk to them really quick and hurriedly came back to the car. We sat in silence as we began to drive back through town. My sisters and I had our face inches from the windows trying to take in all the destruction that had occurred. It was not until we reached the center of Main Street, when we began to see people outside their roof-less homes, and we watched as people were walking around trying to help their neighbors clean up what was left. The wind was still roaring against the cars exterior and a light hail had began to fall causing even more damage to what was left of the town. As we drove on down I saw houses left in a heap of wood while the house next to them only lost some siding on the exterior of the house. Every where we drove we still seen people helping other people, despite the hail and despite the wind. Mom would stop at homes of people she knew and made sure they were all right. Everyone in our small town was hurt emotionally from the destruction of the tornado, and yet everyone put aside their individual chaos and helped one another in a time of great need.