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Hand Up Network completes final project in Panola County following March tornadoes

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Published: Jan. 18, 2022 at 5:39 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 18, 2022 at 11:11 PM CST
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PANOLA COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - On Tuesday, the Hand Up Network began finishing their final home repairs project that stemmed from spring storms this year.

They worked with more than 60 uninsured families that suffered significant damage or total loss due to tornadoes that hit Cherokee, Rusk, and Panola counties in 2021.

The total damage from the storms did not qualify to receive any state or federal funds. The Hand Up Network has worked with local organizations, state organizations, and many volunteers to make these repairs happen.

“There’s a lot of attention right after it happens and there are a lot of groups from national areas that will come in and they’ll do a lot while the cameras are around. But as soon as the cameras leave, it’s usually us,” said CEO Samuel Smith. “So in this case, because there was no federal or state designation, it was basically us kind of going group to group and donor to donor, just trying to find people to help us get the resources because if we didn’t do it, these families would have no help or support whatsoever.”

Anytime there is a natural disaster, the Hand Up Network comes alongside emergency management teams to help them organize the next steps.

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