Siouxlanders are no stranger to tornadoes and other disasters that can occur from time to time. There's one farmer in northwest Iowa who's planting seeds of hope for people who are left trying to pick up the pieces. Our Jetske Wauran went on a special assignment all the way to Oklahoma to see him at work. This segment is the first of her three-part series on "Sheltering in Stormy Times".Duane Drost of Milford started "Bless You Inc." in 2012. The organization not only brings supplies to those in need, the travel trailers can also become temporary homes for people who don't have anywhere else to go. And the second weekend in February, I had the opportunity to drop off a trailer in an Oklahoma town struck by a tornado two years ago. Duane Drost has had the darkest of times. His daughter Angela passed away ten years ago at the age of 21. And soon after, he tried ending his own life. But after finding the help he needed, Duane says he found a greater purpose in life. "You can give somebody money, you can give somebody food. But when you give somebody a place to live in, you know you're helping somebody every day," said Drost. A farmer from Milford Iowa, Duane founded Bless You Inc. in December 2012. "For what He (God) has done in my life, I just want to make sure that we help people back correctly and in His name," said Drost. The stand-alone ministry isn't partnered with any specific church or denomination- helping anyone, from different walks of life. Bless You Inc. will drive thousands of miles to bring a fully furnished RV packed with water, food, and necessities for people struck by natural disaster.So far, dropping off 11 trailers across the country. And this time, I went with Duane to get a firsthand look at how it all comes together, transporting their 12th RV, from Sioux City, Iowa to Shawnee, Oklahoma. After 10 hours on the road, we arrive in Oklahoma where the trailer's handed off to Joshua Foundation. And then... "Offering us these great RVs for them to use. What we do is we try to create temporary housing scenarios, where whether if it's with an RV trailer out on the property, create a calm, peaceful, home-like atmosphere where they can just come in, take a deep breath and say what do I do next?" said Skip Cannon, Founder of the Joshua Foundation. Duane says it's a blessing to help others. "In our organization, there's not a soul that gets paid out of it. It's all donated labor, it's all donated help," said Drost. Be sure read about part two of this special report on "Sheltering in Stormy Times," when the families Duane is helping tell us about having their life rebuilt again.
SHAWNEE, OK — If you would like to make a monetary donation, you can make checks payable to Bless You Inc and send to: Duane Drost, 2272 140th Ave. Milford, IA 51351.
For more information, visit www.blessyouinc.com