East Texans offer helping hand to tornado victims - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

East Texans offer helping hand to tornado victims

By Whitney Grunder - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE)- Mayor Gorden's wife, Mary Jo Gorden and the Red Cross held a clothing/household drive for storm victims today from 10 am until 4 pm this afternoon. Within the first two hours, the room was already filling up with donated items.

It's just one example of the generosity within the community since the storm hit last week.

Several East Texans spent their Christmas Eve and Christmas helping people with clean up. Organizers say, more help continues to come forward.

Clothing, blankets, shoes and kitchen appliances; were among some of the items donated by hundreds from the community to help storm victims.

 "There are so many people that want to help that are willing and able to help," said Gorden.

Lynn Hopper spent two hours cleaning out her house, gathering items to give.

 "Cleaning out closets, making room for stuff we got for Christmas. It's really kind of shameful what all we have at home and just wanted to share some of our things with others," said Hopper.

It was a community effort. East Texans brought in truckloads, all to help those in need. 

"I have no doubt that we'll be better than we were before," said Gorden.

Just across the town, church members and friends helped fix one women's roof damaged by the storm.

 "Just trying to help out where I can," said brother of the Church of Living God, George Jones.

These men worked non-stop finishing her roof before more rain.

"We weren't really looking for any payment or anything but just to help out. We're necessary," he said.

"God's given me the opportunity and I have to use that because if I don't then I'm not using what he put in me."

Red Cross volunteers haven't stopped working since the storm hit.

"The people in the community should help other people in the community," said volunteer Deave Overland.

And that's what East Texans do. Offer helping hands to those affected by the storm.

Wednesday from 10-4 pm, storm victims can come to the Civic Center to collect donated items. All that's needed is some form of identification. People can continue to bring donations until 4 pm and after that, all donations can be dropped off at First Methodist Church on Denman Avenue.

The Red Cross is still looking for furniture and other large appliances, but organizers are asking people to call them before dropping off big items. The Red Cross is also seeking more volunteers.

If you would like to donate or help out as a volunteer, contact the Red Cross at 634-6013.  You can also call if you are in need of shelter, for there is a standby facility that can be put into use if necessary.

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