School supply drive helps Oak Grove tornado victims

Posted at 5:05 PM, Aug 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-04 19:32:46-04

Community Service League site manager Gina Parr said it's been quite the trip the past few months in Oak Grove, Missouri.

Since an EF-3 tornado hit the area on March 7, there's been a long-term recovery team that meets on a regular basis to make sure tornado victims' needs are met. 

With school right around the corner, some of those needs include school supplies. 

CSL holds an annual school supply drive to help low-income families in the area. But this is the first year they're helping tornado victims. 

"We’ve never seen a tornado actually go through a town. We’ve seen it on the news, but we actually saw it and saw personal victims that lost everything," volunteer Kristina Twitty said. "And my kids saw it and we just want to help."

Roughly 40 families affected by the tornado will get help. 

"Some of the families are still getting back to normal, some of them are still working," Parr said. "But we thought it would be nice as one last gesture to help them with school supplies this year."

Parr has been leading the volunteer efforts. But she and her family are tornado victims themselves. 

"The roof and most of the walls were gone. We were on the stairway, we didn’t even make it to the basement. The Lord just watched out for us," Parr said. 

Now in a new home, she said she just wants to help others get back on their feet. 

"I had no normalcy when my house was gone. I had lived in that home for 20 years. I had raised my kids there, " she said.

RELATED | Before and after: Tornado damages homes in Oak Grove

She said working with volunteers is now her new normal. 

"That was the only normal I could get in my life," she said. "We just dove into it and it helps."

The school supply drive will help about 150 families in total, both low-income and those impacted by the March tornado.

Several of the items came from donations throughout the metro area.