The young lad wasn't about to sit at home with a sippy cup when his beloved neighborhood was in need of some urgent love and care.
After a devastating tornado ripped through Nashville and central Tennessee on Tuesday, thousands of volunteers were deployed into all corners to aid in cleanup efforts. The sound of chainsaws buzzed throughout tornado-ravaged areas as debris was hauled out for collection and residents sifted through whatever remained of their homes for valuables. While the weekend saw all hands on deck, few expected two of those hands to belong to a tiny 3-year-old on a tricycle. However, little Dax wasn't about to sit at home with a sippy cup when his beloved neighborhood was in need of some urgent love and care.
Dax's grandmother, Susan Stout Dyer, took to Facebook on Friday to share a photo of the 3-year-old setting off on a mission to help rebuild the devastated neighborhood of Cookeville, Tennessee. Captioning the image of the little boy in a green dinosaur T-shirt on his red trike, she wrote: My grandson Dax, in our subdivision. He told me "he had to come work to help his neighbors with their broken houses." He said that’s what God wants us to do... what you can’t see, he has his hammer and tools on the back of his trike!
Speaking to TODAY, Dyer revealed that their neighborhood was the first to be affected by the tornado. "Our neighborhood was the first touch down of the tornado. Daycare was closed, and his mom was at work so he was spending the day with me," she said. When Dax heard his grandma talking to his older brother about going to help down the street, he immediately decided that he'd be joining them. "He got his tools and placed them on his trike, put on his goggles and off we went. He said to me, 'Suesue, are we going to help our neighbors because their houses are broken?' I replied yes, and asked him why he thought we should do that. His reply was 'because that’s what God wants us to do, help our neighbors,'" the proud grandma explained.
Dyer—who lives in Prosperity Point in Cookeville—has also set up a fundraising campaign in Dax's name to help families affected by the tornado. All donations made to Dax’s Tornado Relief for Our Neighbor’s Broken Houses will reportedly be used to assist the families living in apartments that do not have insurance and have lost absolutely everything.
"We feel that the families living in apartments need us to reach out to them. The families that live in apartments affected by the tornado in our community do not have places to live, clothes to wear. Their vehicles were destroyed. They have lost everything. They do not have any type of insurance. Many do not have a support system in place. Some are disabled and do not know where to turn," the fundraising campaign states.
Addressing the residents of Tennessee earlier this week, Governor Bill Lee reminded them that "in the worst of circumstances the best of people comes out, and that’s what we’re seeing here in Tennessee." Dax's eagerness to help his neighborhood echoes the governor's words, proving that one can always find hope even in the worst of times.
"As a grandparent, I try to be very intentional with using the time I spend with him to teach him what love really looks like based on our faith," said Dyer. "I wasn’t surprised at all because he is a sweet child! Our community has experienced something horrible and something beautiful at the same time. We are broken but we are strong." You can donate to Dax’s Tornado Relief for Our Neighbor’s Broken Houses here.