East Texan fills 18-wheeler full of donations, delivers to her hometown of Moore
Tyler resident Tammy Link poses with her brother while donating truck full of supplies to Moore
EAST TEXAS (KLTV) -
Many East Texans have reached out to help those recovering from the deadly tornadoes in Moore, Oklahoma. One of those groups is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Their East Texas stake was able to fill an entire 18-wheeler full of community donations and take them to Moore over the Memorial Day weekend.
One of its members, Tammy Link, grew up in Moore. She was part of the group that drove the donations up to Oklahoma and delivered them to those in need.
"It was very surreal," Link said. "You were driving into places that you knew you were supposed to recognize but you didn't. I had no idea that I was even on my brothers street when we walked into the neighborhood. You expect landmarks to be there that were no longer there."
Her family was able to make it to shelter in time, but her brother's home took a direct hit and was completely destroyed. Her six-year-old nephew had been picked up from Plaza Towers elementary right before the tornado tore right through the school.
Link said having family there and knowing they were directly affected, she knew she had to do something to help her hometown get back on its feet.
"I posted on Facebook seeing if anybody would be willing to donate a truck for the weekend that I could take to Oklahoma," Link said. "Within five minutes, I had three offers. My husband called me and said that we got a truck, we got drivers, we got loaders and we got unloaders. They donated the gas and their time to get it there."
Tammy's friend from church, JaLynne Murray, immediately started organizing a donation drive, also taking to Facebook for help.
"It started getting all of these responses and people asking where they need to bring these items," Murray said. "People that I didn't know came up the driveway two or three cars at a time and donated. They would just come and drop off stuff at the front door."
The two friends filled the donated 18-wheeler to the brim. Link drove up with it and donated the goods over the weekend.
"Christ taught us to bear other's burdens and to love one another," Murray said. "It was just a natural step for us. We're supposed to care for each other and this was an avenue that the heavenly Father would be proud of us for taking."
"Everybody else is the real heroes here," Link said. "They're the ones that brought the cases of water, the gloves and the rakes to clear things out and the diapers. They're the ones that deserve some thanks."
Link said she now hopes people don't forget that the process of rebuilding will be a long road ahead for the residents of Moore.
"It looked the same Monday as it did a week ago, with things pushed to the street," she said. "They have these immediate needs, but they're also going to need things to put into their apartments. They don't even have houses right now. My brother has nothing really to call his own, but he doesn't have anywhere to put it either. In the next few weeks and months, these people are going to need a lot of help. It's going to take months and months to get Oklahoma back."
Monday, September 1 2014 2:00 AM EDT2014-09-01 06:00:48 GMT
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