Memphian Angela Copeland attended Moore, Oklahoma, public schools from kindergarten through high schools. She was heartbroken learning about the 20 of 35 school buildings being destroyed.
"It was just the worst feeling in the world to be sitting at home and knowing that this is in the middle of happening," she says.
Copeland immediately began finding ways to help her beloved schools recover. Her former fitness trainer Karen Wilder donated $18,000 worth of gym equipment. Turns out, Copeland's the gym and equipment at her former school, Highland East Junior High School, was completely destroyed by the tornado.
"To actually find out they had a need for the equipment was fantastic," says Copeland, "Karen pointed out to me earlier how nice it is that this is the equipment that I worked out on with Karen for four years and now here it's going to the place that I went to junior high school."
Wilder tried for the last year to sell or donate the equipment she was no longer using in her studio. She is thrilled that it will be used in a Moore school.
"An environment where they're learning and learning athletics and learning about fitness and wellness hopefully, and just being in a place where it can actually be used to help enhance athletics," says Wilder, "I just really hope that it will help to implement their sport performance, and, definitely, I would love to come and visit."
It is a large and generous donation that Copeland did not expect; she did not have anyone to deliver the equipment.
She hopes the mid-south community will step up to offer their knowledge and delivery services to help move the equipment to Moore.
Those interested in helping deliver the gym equipment can contact Copeland at firstname.lastname@example.org or RedRover Marketing at (901) 266-2662.
Copeland's recent Memphis to Moore fundraiser and silent auction raised $34,000 for Moore public schools. Those who could not attend and still want to donate can do so at the Memphis to Moore website.