letter to the editor

Dad’s Godly 1,000-mile trek to help after tragedy

Adam Moore, an attorney and senior vice president of a bank in Knoxville, writes the following heartfelt letter about his father, former Farragut resident, teacher and high school football coach David Moore (not to be confused with current Farragut High School teacher and former coach David Moore).

A retired teacher of 35 years and head coach at Lenoir City, Knoxville Catholic and Sunbright high schools, the elder Moore founded Star CareActer Athlete program with UT Hall of Fame coaches Phillip Fulmer and the late Pat Summitt “in 2004.”

Adam’s father said he is “led by God” to use his special “Tribute Truckster” vehicles to spread joy in, and give comfort to, various communities in the area.

But “Coach” expanded his outreach by roughly 1,000 miles.

He was gone from Jan. 15 to Jan. 22 “to thank” leaders in a small Wisconsin town who helped a family deal with tragedy following the kidnapping of a 13-year-old girl, since rescued, after her parents were murdered. The elder Moore “brought Christmas” to the girl’s family and community members with “Teddy bears, needlepoint crosses, handmade afghans, sweatshirts and hats.”

My dad is the guy who drives around Knoxville at Christmas time in the “Tribute Truckster,” two cars he purchased and outfitted to look identical to the Family Truckster from “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.”

For the last handful of Christmas seasons, my dad has driven his “Tribute Truckster” around Knoxville and Knox County smiling at passersby and giving thumbs up to shoppers. His smile is infectious.

You may question his methods. Trust me, I get it.

But you can’t question his heart. He will tell you unequivocally he is “on a mission.” He talks to people you wouldn’t talk to. He hands out crochet crosses, stuffed animals and Bibles. He does it all without pay or reciprocations of any kind.

You can call him crazy. Go ahead. Heck, I’ve thought it myself. You know what, maybe he is “crazy.”

But I think more accurately he is “called.” Called like all of us are called, to love one another. To care for one another.

After all, he started a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit called “Care 365” in 1999 after hearing about the travesty in Columbine.

As an educator and coach for three decades, my dad saw the ugliness and hate in public schools firsthand, and he couldn’t sit idly by while nothing was being done about it.

That same urge, which caused the formation of the “Care Club” at Lenoir City High School, is also what caused my dad to drive 1,000 miles to a community he’d only recently learned about on the news: Barron, Wisconsin.

The story of Jayme Closs had broken my dad’s heart. It kept him from sleeping. It genuinely bothered him.

A girl had been kidnapped, her parents had been murdered and a community had been rocked to its core.

So, while I skimmed online articles and mumbled to myself how awful that tragedy was, before returning directly back to my day, my dad loaded his car with gifts, a minimal amount of cash and headed north in his “Tribute Truckster.”

He wanted to bring joy and happiness to a community that was hurting.

He wanted to give Christmas to a community that went without.

If I’m being honest I was initially more focused on the chore of caring for dad’s golden-doodle while he was gone, than giving requisite head space to what caused him to leave in the first place.

My own selfish frustrations blurred the greater good that was afoot.

My dad was on a mission trip. All of us are called to love and care about others.

We can do that abroad or we can do that here, but we have to do it. Our heart’s hold the answer to the hate we live around. Care can resolve conflict. Love is the universal language.

So, let’s ask for God’s guidance. Let’s seek out His will.

Where will He send you on a mission trip?

With much love,

Adam Moore