LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – Authorities lowered the death toll from Monday's Oklahoma tornado outbreak from five to two after three children believed to have died were found alive.
As families are still realizing the magnitude of destruction, an East Texan is reaching across state lines to help, and he's no stranger to lending a helping hand during a disaster.
"They've been through a real stressful ordeal and whatever we can do to help them relieve that stress and get them back to a normal routine where they feel safe, that's what it's for," said Navy Veteran Donn Turner, who finds plenty of ways to serve his country here at home, or far away.
"If I can bring a smile to a family's face that suffered a great loss, then it makes everything we do worth the while," said Turner.
This weekend, he'll be collecting donations for victims of Monday's Oklahoma tornado outbreak. He plans to drive to Oklahoma on Monday to distribute them.
"Anything that can be used to help them clean up their property, hygiene items, toiletries, cleaning supplies."
Mother nature's fury is no stranger to East Texas. That's why Turner says there are always people willing to offer a helping hand.
"During Ike, we had a lot of people come down from Oklahoma and help us and same thing for Katrina."
Wherever there is a need he'll go, here in the Pineywoods, or across state lines.
"Just because they've in another state, that don't make them any less of a neighbor than they live next door."
Turner's purchased boxes of toys and other items to take to families who need them. He's hoping to fill these tables with more items.
We've seen the giving spirit of East Texans many times before. When Turner collected donations for Haiti earthquake victims, truckloads of donations poured-in.
He's hoping that same spirit will continue, so he can carry-out his mission to serve others.
Turner will collect donations at the National Guard Armory Friday through Sunday from 9 am to 6 pm. He plans to leave Monday but said people can even drop off items that morning.
He also needs help sorting and packing items, and even someone to make the drive with him to Oklahoma.
He's asking that people not bring clothing donations, but instead much needed toiletry and cleaning items to distribute.