Bears rookie punter Tress Way is eager to get back to home to Oklahoma this coming Memorial Day weekend after a devastating tornado ripped through Moore, Okla. on Monday.
Way, whom the Bears signed as a free agent after the draft, just wants to help. Way is from Tulsa, Okla. and went to the University of Oklahoma in Norman.
"Moore is about five minutes from my school in Norman," Way said Tuesday after the Bears' organized team activities. "The movie theater that was hit, that's where we all go see our movies. I was in our rookie meeting [Monday] and my phone just kept buzzing and obviously I wasn't checking it or anything but I was really eager to see what I happened, because we had no idea. We had been here all day.
"I just started getting pictures, text-message pictures from people. I mean, my goodness, it's heartbreaking because it's five minutes down the road from us. ... I was just so heartbroken because, man, I just want to go home. There's not a whole lot that you can do. It's a natural disaster. It's a horrible thing. I texted all the guys from my team back home and I just said, 'Fellas, get down there. Start pulling debris off.' They're missing kids, there are families (missing)."
Way's fiance is on Oklahoma's softball team. He said the softball team has started a charity "where they're taking in shoes, and clothes and everything." He said donations are already coming in and he encouraged more.
"What's amazing is that in just a horrible natural disaster like that, God just can bless people by people helping out each other," Way said. "You look outside and there would be a lot of times when people are running away from something that horrible, but in Norman, Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, I've heard news reports that they actually had to keep people away from the accident and away from the disaster because people were wanting to help that much. So that makes my heart feel a little bit better.
"Obviously, I'll be going home for Memorial Day weekend. Anything I can do whenever I get home, I'll be helping. [It's] just a heartbreaking thing. It's a natural disaster, not a whole lot you can do. But I'm really, really encouraged to see everybody that's willing to help."