Free massages, therapy dogs, healing crystals and a lot of “good vibes” were on hand at the Northridge High School gymnasium Saturday as a group of wellness volunteers set up a “Love Shack” for the Northridge community affected by the Memorial Day tornadoes.
Misty Brown, of Dayton, said she was so emotionally impacted by the devastation she saw in area communities that she wanted to use her talents to help heal.
“It just affected me in a huge way, and my heart went out,” she said. “I woke up one night and I just had a vision of what this was going to be.”
Brown does energy work, a type of wellness treatment that involves the body’s vibrations. So she recruited others who do massage therapy, essential oils, sound therapy and more.
The first weekend after the tornadoes they set up a “shack” in Beavercreek that included pop-up tents.
“We set up and did massages and energy work and talked to people and gave out hugs and just listened,” Brown said. “And that kind of inspired other people to join and want to get involved.”
So for their second installment in Northridge, they partnered with The First Heavy Metal Church of Christ to use the high school gym. The church was also running a tornado relief food and supply pantry in the Timberlane Elementary School gym next door.
Andrea Anderson and Ronnie Evans live across from Esther Dennis Middle School on Wagner Ford Road that was heavily damaged.
On Memorial Day, Anderson had just arrived home from work closing the Family Dollar store on North Dixie, which minutes later was completely destroyed by the tornado.
She and Evans piled into the bathtub with their kids as the tornado ripped part of the roof off.
They feel lucky that the damage wasn’t worse, and their home is livable, but Anderson was thankful for the Love Shack event to have a place for her youngest boys, 7 and 8 years old, to blow off some steam.
“Their emotions have been scattered,” she said. “Maybe getting them out and getting them around people with good vibes might make them a little happier.”
Anderson has been able to work at another Family Dollar store while Evans said his employer Ernst Concrete has been wonderful, supplying the family with a generator.
“We have a great community,” Evans said. “Ever since this happened everybody has been so helpful with one another.”
Anderson graduated from Northridge in 2011. Sitting in the gym where she was offering face painting for kids, she said, “I’m proud to be a Polar Bear.”
Brown hopes to have more Love Shack events in Trotwood and other areas. They are looking for partners with space for such an event. They have created a Facebook page at facebook.com/loveshackdayton.