We Shelter Oklahoma Schools for Emily Conatzer August 28, 2003 – May 20, 2013

960_emily_Family_8x10-300x240Shelter Oklahoma Schools and Hope Raisers Foundation are heartbroken for the Conazter family with their loss of their daughter, Emily, after the May 20, 2013 tornado took her and several of her classmates. Shelter Oklahoma Schools wants to prevent this from happening ever again which is why the Conazter’s are helping us work towards building Shelters for every Oklahoma school district.

Please read the words of Emily’s mother share her words of her daughter and how her taken life will change their family forever.

Monday May 20th the day started off as a regular school day for us. We sent our girls Emily and Luci off to school. It was our custom, that on each Monday we would meet our girls and some of their friends at the Bistro in the school for lunch. Monday, May 20th was no different. During our lunch time with the kids we talked and just had a good time. Emily was the kind of child who was caring, loving, and always looked out for others. She always brought many of her friends to our Bistro gathering. It was just great fun.

The next several hours was like any other Monday. We went about our normal business until the girls were ready to come home from school.

Later that afternoon we heard on the news that a giant tornado was heading our way. The weatherman emphatically told everyone to head for shelter underground or anywhere we could be safe from the devastation that he presumed would follow. We immediately asked ourselves should we go get the girls from school but we said we know the school was a safe place and that they should be safe there. Chris stepped outside of our house and came face to face with the tornado.

As soon as the tornado passed, we went running to the school to look for our girls, Emily and Luci. We found Luci coming out of the ruble of the school, but did not see Emily. No one could tell us where Emily was or if she was ok. It was 5:30pm when we were told to leave the school grounds and start calling the hospitals and churches to see if Emily has been found. Shortly later when we find out the news that Emily was not coming home from school. Emily was one of the seven children at Plaza Tower Elementary School who did not make it through the tornado.

Over the last several months our family has had to learn to grieve at the death of our daughter and sister, Emily, as well as for the loss of our home and everything that we owned. We each have learned that the loss will never be fully grieved and the memory of Emily will be forever etched in our hearts and minds.

Because of all we have been through, we have become keenly aware of the need for shelters and safe rooms in public schools. Plaza Towers Elementary School, as well as other schools in the area did not have shelters, or safe places. Because of this, our family has undertaken a mission in Emily’s honor which is “SOS”, Shelter Oklahoma Schools. We as a family will do anything it takes so no other family will endure the loss we have had.

We, as well as the other six families that lost their children in the tornado will work to see that all schools in Oklahoma have shelters (safe rooms). SOS

Your school is supposed to be a safe place. Let’s not let this happen again. Help us Raise Some Hope to ensure that this never has to happen to one of children again. You can help by spreading the word, buying a shirt or donating now.