(MERRILL, IA) - In the wake of the tragedy in Oklahoma, Siouxlanders are banding together to help those who lost everything. One Merrill, Iowa woman is keeping her husband's memory alive by making a difference in the lives of others.Cindy Berner Schilchte is heading to Oklahoma for a rodeo on Thursday. Normally, she'd load up her two horses in her trailer. Instead, she's trading her horses for diapers and more.
"We have toothbrushes and toothpastes. They said they need a lot of that," said Berner Schlichte. As Cindy packed up her trailer at home, more donations would eventually fill it to the brim. She put the word out online just a few days ago. "I guess you can thank modern technology - Facebook - because that's kind of what helped get this ball going," said Berner Schlichte. And what timing: Thursday marks the seventh anniversary of her husband's death. "He was all about giving back. He used to do the benefit auctions for the Boys and Girls Home in Sioux City and the Christmas tree auctions," said Berner Schlichte.
Cindy will leave her horses behind for only the second time in years. "You don't get to go to the rodeo this time. You get the weekend off," said Berner Schlichte to her horses. But she knows it's exactly what her husband would want her to do. "I just think things happen for a reason and maybe that's why that it was this week that this happened and it just kind of put everything together," said Berner Schlichte. Just a couple of hours after we met Cindy, a big group gathered to pitch in. They loaded about 50 cases of water. That's more than 1,500 bottles of water to help Oklahoma victims just in LeMars. "It means a lot that the Upper Midwest we look out for each other. And we help each other in a time of need no matter how big or how small. We're always here to help," said John MacGregor. "I think it's just part of the American heritage - from the beginning to now. We just continue to do what we do for each other no matter what the crisis," said Pastor Tony De La Rosa. Cindy still needs another trailer and some more drivers as well as a few other items. If you'd like to help out, you can call her directly at (712) 540-2639.