Local red cross volunteers assist OK tornado victims

It's an inspiring story of neighbors helping neighbors.

A group of local American Red Cross workers and volunteers has spent several weeks helping the residents of Moore, Oklahoma rebuild from an EF-5 tornado.

"You can go one block and there's total devastation and the next block everything's perfectly normal," says Sharon Tyler with the local chapter.

Tyler brought a team of 5 from Southeast Texas to Moore to help residents now left with just the clothes on their backs.

450,000 meals have been provided by the American Red Cross.

"We have a lot of our emergency response vehicles here. At one time, we had 45 of those up here doing feeding routes and going to feed people in the neighborhoods that couldn't get out," she says. 

While feeding and counseling, she's also listening to the stories from the locals. One story really touched her heart from the school where eight children died.

"One of the neighbors was telling us about two little girls that were best friends and played together all the time. They were found underneath the slab holding hands," she said as she cried.

The stories can be heartbreaking. So many lives were lost and others are lucky to be alive.

"Unless they had a safe shelter in their home or a basement or went to another place where there was another shelter then there wasn't much chance of surviving these tornadoes," says Tyler.

Those who did survive will always be haunted by the memories. But, workers like Tyler are hoping a simple smile can help heal a broken heart.

"It's fabulous to be able to know that you brought some help and hope into somebody's life and especially when you know it's their darkest day," she says. 

If you are looking to volunteer, contact the American Red Cross.

If you would like to nominate someone for our "What's Right in Southeast Texas" segment, send Vanessa Holmes an email to 12News@kbmt12.com.


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