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Lawton Community Giving to Help Tornado Victims

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LAWTON Okla_ The Red Cross is playing a huge role in helping Oklahoma tornado victims, and they say while food and clothing donations help, officials say they really need money.

Red Cross Community Outreach Manager Daniel Farrell said cash is the best way to help victims with anything they need. A group of students at Lawton's Workforce Oklahoma Office set out to supply that Tuesday.

"Unbelievable is basically the word that comes to mind," said Lynn Stewart, Workforce Oklahoma Adult Education Teacher. "Just seeing the heart wrenching interviews and seeing miles and miles of devastation left me in a state of shock. I wanted to do something."

So, Stewart texted her students Monday night and asked if they wanted to help. They all did.

"It was instantaneous," Stewart said.

Tuesday, they made yellow flyers asking people in the school for donations. Then, two students collected whatever people could give. They ended up with $150.

"I feel so happy, and I feel so glad that everyone can just give to those kids and the people who just went through that," said Workforce Oklahoma Lawton Student Lisa Lee.

"Most of the people just said, ‘Here you go. This is your money.' It was cool," said Workforce Oklahoma Lawton Student Kassi Fuqun.

7News cameras were at the Red Cross Great Plains Office as Stewart delivered the money. Farrell said they can do more with that money than individuals can.

"We can go and buy the items tax-free," Farrell said. "We can often buy them at a discount, and sometimes, those items are approved as in kind donations that we can get from our corporate partners."

When so many are homeless after disasters like this, the top priority is finding them a place to stay.

"Sheltering operations cost money," Farrell said. "The feeding operations cost money. Taking care of the clients will cost a lot of money, and Red Cross is there to do just that."

If you want to donate, text 'redcross' from your cell phone to 90999 to make a $10. You can also call 1-800-redcross or on the web go to www.redcross.org/okc.

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