If there's ever proof that becoming a parent changes you, I'd say the way we respond to natural disasters is a clear sign. Before kids, I would have seen the Joplin, Missouri tornado pictures and said, "How sad." Now I look at the stories of kids like Will Norton, a teenager missing in the aftermath, and all I can think is "I have to do something. NOW!"
Come on, tell me this story doesn't make you frantic: Will Norton was driving home from his high school graduation with his dad, when the tornado literally sucked him out through the sunroof of the family car. Let me repeat that. A tornado SUCKED a newly minted high school graduate out of his car ... and his parents haven't seen him since.
Makes you want to run to Missouri to give his parents a hug, doesn't it? I know it's made me spend hours online this morning watching Norton's YouTube videos -- he was a bit of a star with more than a million hits on his Willdabeast account (sorry boss, it was research, I swear). This kid was talented! Hilarious! Everything you love to see in a kid.
And now for the good news. You CAN do something more than feel helpless. The Norton family has gotten unconfirmed reports that their son was taken to a hospital in the Joplin area. So far calls to the hospitals have turned up empty, so they're turning to the Internet to find out if anyone has seen him.
That's where we come in. We can't run to Joplin, but we can share his information with the 'net in hopes that SOMEONE saw him ... or, as hard as it is to fathom, his body, to give these parents closure. Here's what you need to share -- his picture (you can see it above) and his details: the 18-year-old is 6'4" with brown hair and blue eyes. In addition to light freckling on his arms, he has a large round scar on the middle of his back.
The list of hospitals already contacted is online too -- the family asks that they not be called, but if you have any ideas beyond what's on there, reach out directly to his family at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 757-751- 9455 (WILL).
Will you be sharing this to help get this family through this tough time?
Image via Help Find Will Norton