ABC 22 News Team
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"Xenia 4 Moore, Oklahoma" Helps Victims One Year Later
XENIA -- The nonprofit "Xenia 4 Moore, Oklahoma" has spent the last year helping 11 families who lost everything in a small town devastating tornadoes in May of 2013. The women who started the group had survived the 1974 tornado in Xenia and wanted to share what they think is a more effective way to help tornado survivors other than just sending supplies.
"Because I was in the Xenia tornado 40 years ago, I know what that's like," said Tammy Thomas who is part of the group.
She lost her Xenia home and all her belongings when she was 16, and decades later she wanted to help the Moore victims in a more lasting way.
"We decided to be with these families for an entire year and follow them to see exactly what their needs were," she said.
"It was comforting to have someone who has gone through exactly what we were going through and talk us through it," said Cara Yakel who lived in Moore during the tornadoes. Her family was the first to be helped by the Xenia group.
"You just don't even know what you need, you can't even think straight," Yakel said. "They've been emotional support too many times for me to count."
The "Xenia 4 Moore" group researched the families they helped, and provided specific needs, helped match mortgage expenses, and other needs that large relief efforts couldn't provide.
Yakel said the special care and consideration helped her family to heal emotionally.
"I wish there was a way to help other people learn how to help," Yakel said.
One year after help came to her, she hopes someone will help new tornado victims in the same way.
"They aren't going to be able to tell those around them what they need. I wasn't able to," she said.
Currently "Xenia 4 Moore, Oklahoma" doesn't have specific plans to aid those affected by the latest storms in the Great Plains.
You can reach out to group members via their Facebook page.
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