May 24, 2013

Chickasha duo plan to heal with helmets, hope

CHICKASHA — As the dust settles from this week's horrific tornado. Many are left wondering what they can do to help. Jessica Couch and Jamie Henderson are out to shed some light on that very topic.

"Yesterday I saw on Facebook that a group of kids for an Oklahoma City softball team were getting a fund raiser together for a little girl who lost her life in the tornado," Couch said. "They were in intersections collecting money in their softball helmets and I said, 'we can do something like that here.'"

With that in mind, Couch formed Helmets, Healing and Hope with the intent of lessening some of the pain brought on by the tornado's devastation.

Couch took the idea and expanded it from what she saw on Facebook, planning to raise money for each family who lost a child during the tornado.

She promptly called the Chickasha Sports Complex with the simple hope that she could collect some money at that facility, when she was pleasantly surprised.

"I called them and was told 220 teams are coming down next weekend for a tournament, and the tournament is not collecting gate admission," Couch said. "People are coming in from Kansas and Texas saying, 'I want to help, but I don't know how,' and this is a way they can."

Couch said she plans to have her daughter's team stand out in their uniforms, with their helmets collecting donations.

Given most of the children lost to the storm were between the ages of 8 and 9 years old, Couch said the issues resonated with not only her daughter's team, but many others.

"We are going to be at Walmart too and it's just too big for our one team," she said. "We reached out to the league and now nine teams are coming to help from all over Grady County."

Henderson. a CPA, is handling the financial aspect of the donations. She said the plan is to put the money raised by the drive into Couch's team's account and checks will be cut from that account to the 10 family's that lost a child during the storm.

"As long as the bank is board, that's our plan," Henderson said.

The devastation left in the wake of storm hit especially close to home with Henderson, who lost her house in Chickasha two years ago during a tornado.

"You don't realize what a little bit of effort from a lot of people can do," she said. "It's personal to me, because I lost my house, but it's also personal to Jessica because she's my best friend and she went through it with me."

Those interested in donating to Helmets, Healing and Hope can contact Couch at 405-320-0362.

Helmets, Healing and Hope will be at the Chickasha Sports Complex May 30 and June 1. They will also be at the Chickasha Walmart June 1.


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