“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

The real question after the tornado is not “what can I salvage?” it is “how do I make sense of this?”.

When the storm cleared, my family’s house was gone. With our home went my parents’ years of hard work to provide for us, the family heirlooms meant to be passed down, and the fond memories of a childhood growing up in the quintessential midwestern neighborhood.

What came next can only be described as the best in humanity: neighbors helping neighbors, an outpouring of support from communities nearby, and the kindness of total strangers.

For me, it came down to one simple, altruistic act: a turkey sandwich and a bottle of water on a hot afternoon.

As I think about what to do with my life, I see that my ultimate purpose is to make a positive impact on people by doing things both big and small. For me, it’s knowing that people may not remember your name, but they will always remember how you served them in their moment of greatest need. Through our actions we can do things that transcend the test of time—actions that stand up to any storm.

— Drew Johnson