ARLINGTON, Wash. -- As neighbors near the Oso landslide learn of an increased death toll, words just aren’t enough.
Some things are just too hard to say, even as homemade signs asking for prayer line the roads leading to the 530 landslide area.
Instead of talking, people are doing more.
A lot of the action revolves around food.
“This is all the food down here and down there,” said Ocean Hufstatler. “They’re not just gonna be lonely without their families.”
Boy Scout Troop 29 in Arlington held a food drive outside the Food Pavilion on Wednesday evening.
They’ve helped load eight 20-foot truck loads of food and other donations this week.
Food Pavilion’s manager, Loly Ramirez, started the drive as a means of helping customers like the man who lost his son and house in the slide.
“He actually was shopping here that day and heard about the mudslide happening as it happened and said, ‘I better get home and make sure that’s not my house,” Ramirez said.
Ramirez’s brother donated 1,800 lbs of chicken from Draper Valley Chicken.
She is cooking it all in Food Pavilion’s oven to serve families and search crew members around the slide area.
The cuisine generosity is contagious.
“And I thought, ‘Wow. I can do that too,’” remembered Tammy Brown.
Brown owns The Stump in Arlington. She is donating their lunch profits through the 30th.
“We can’t get out there and help search so we’re trying to do everything we can think of to do,” Brown said.
Brown, Ramirez and the Boy Scouts admit everyone has to eat – even if no one knows the right words to say.
“Some people just say, ‘Thank you,” Hufstatler said.