While many of us search for ways we can give back to our communities and while we also may look for a chance to go overseas, a Bristow, Okla., man has the opportunity to do both. In conjunction with the Tulsa Rotary Club, water well driller Mickey Moore soon will be heading to Nicaragua, Central America, to donate a month of his time to help provide potable water for the needy.
With over 25 years of experience behind him, Moore, 56, will travel to the community of Masaya, about 25 miles from the country’s capital, Managua. There he will donate a month of labor, drilling wells and training locals how to use the rig and maintain wells. In preparation for the project, the Rotary Club has raised about $40,000, and organizers acquired a rotary drill rig for $9,000. The rig and other equipment to be shipped in advance, Moore will follow, hoping to complete 10 wells during the month.
After the project has been completed, the Club will donate the rig to a non-profit organization in Nicaragua, where, according to the Rotary Club’s project chairman, Bob Scroggs, it probably will supply three hands. “By the time we leave, we should have the local people operating the rig,” informs Scroggs. “The long-term idea is that they will be able to move this rig around Nicaragua and continue drilling.”
Accompanying Moore on this venture, Scroggs will visit the country for the second time. Having traveled to Nicaragua on a church mission six years ago, Scroggs has been determined to return. While helping build a medical facility on his first trip, he witnessed the struggle for sanitary conditions and clean water. “You can read about it and see the movies,” Scroggs says, “but when you’re standing with your feet on the ground and looking those people in the eyes, then you get motivated.”
Scroggs secured Moore’s involvement on this project simply through sheer luck. “The really crazy, neat part is that it was a chance call,” reveals Scroggs, who initially called Moore in order to help a neighbor. “One thing led to another. Mickey’s a hero.” In recalling their phone conversation, Scroggs remembers Moore as saying he never had much during his childhood “but I have a good drilling business now. It’s my time to give something back to the world.”
“I’ve never been there,” Moore says of his upcoming trip. “They just told me they are people in need. If they are willing to buy a rig and ship it there, I’m willing to give my time to do what I know how to do.”
It won’t be the first time Moore has extended himself in humanitarian efforts. Five years ago, as part of a ministry, he traveled to Africa to a Ugandan orphanage that was without running water. Moore says his missionary trip was a dream come true. “I made up my mind after doing the first one that every year or two afterward, if somebody wanted to do it again, I would.”
A childhood experience that taught Moore the meaning of philanthropy is what has inspired him to give back. When he was a boy in Oakhurst, Okla., his elementary school principal removed him from class one day and took him to a Tulsa shopping center where he bought Moore a pair of black leather shoes. “This is what stuck in my head,” Moore exclaims. “I never forget him. He planted a seed and didn’t know he planted it.”
Those who know Moore say his efforts to give back to those in need are typical of him. “He is a soft-hearted guy,” states Peter Kelly, vice president of Spirit Bank, which has a branch in Bristow. “He has felt good fortune, and he’s using his gifts to give back to other people. And he is just as proud as he can be of it.” Don Baker, who has known Moore for 20 years, describes him as “a good old hardworking country boy.”
“It takes a special person, especially nowadays, to volunteer to go into a foreign country, especially one that lends itself to trouble,” Baker explains. “But I think the Lord will take care of him while he’s over there because he’s doing a good deed.”