OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – April 19th marks an important day in Oklahoma.
It is the 26th anniversary of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building bombing.
In all, 168 people lost their lives in that act of domestic terrorism.
On Sunday, Oklahomans gathered in downtown Oklahoma City to remember the lives changed by that act in a special way.
“I believe the human spirit thrives on helping and we are better when we all get better together,” said event volunteer LaTonya Williams.
That was the message at the heart of a very special event on Sunday.
Volunteers from all over the metro gathered in a parking lot across from the Oklahoma City National Memorial to remember and give back.
“It means a lot to me. We’re here to help the cause of the Oklahoma bombing and to help people who lost people in there,” said Gentri, an event volunteer.
Boxes were loaded up with hand sanitizer, masks, toothpaste, and other hygiene items to help those in need.
“It makes me feel great because I know that this is helping people that need it,” said Jordan Hodnett, and event volunteer.
“For many years, it’s been difficult for me personally to celebrate my birthday, to really think of the good,” said Jonathan Still.
The event organizer turns 38 on Monday, but April 19th is also the 26th anniversary of losing his aunt in the Murrah bombing.
“I made a decision that enough is enough on the pain, that we were going to take our pain and turn it into purpose. We are hoping that these boxes bring life and positive to some others,” said Still.
Groups of Boy Scouts and basketball teams were there donating their time and efforts .
“To know that a bunch of people got killed in the bombing, I feel really, really bad so to help people like this, it feels really good,” said Brenna, an event volunteer.
Each box included a short biography of one of the victims. The 168 boxes were given out at 4:19 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, right across from the Memorial.
The symbolic numbers, organizers hope, will keep the Oklahoma standard alive and well.
“It’s the standard of self-sacrifice. That’s what you do, you sacrifice your time, your energy, your thoughts, your emotion for someone else and it’s gonna come back,” said Williams.
“The Oklahoma Standard, I believe includes helping other people at all times,” said Still.
The 168 boxes given away this year were to remember those who lost their lives.
Still hopes to grow the event in years to come, maybe giving away 419 boxes next year.