LAWTON, Okla._While it took only 40 minutes for parts of the town of Moore to become demolished by last week's E-F-5 tornado, the American Red Cross says it'll take the city months, even years, to rebuild and they're welcoming any helping hands.
Over the past week several media outlets have reported that volunteers were being turned away---but the Red Cross says that's not the case.
Victims are still in need of anything you would use on a daily basis including food, water, clothes, and money.
The Red Cross said understandably, when disaster strikes, there's a surge of people willing to lend a helping hand. Right now, no one is being turned away, but they have been delayed as they're funneled through a procedure. Volunteers must first undergo a background check before they're given the go ahead.
Just by looking at the devastation, Red Cross Disaster Specialist Kim O'Brien said there's no doubt help is still needed.
"We would love to have more volunteers go out and help us both in Moore and in the Shawnee area," said O'Brien.
She said right now the list of needs is endless and that the jobs of volunteers are running the gamut.
"Shelter operations, client case work, damage assessment, you name it, feeding, anywhere we can plug a volunteer to help, we'd be glad to," said O'Brien.
O'Brien said while the victims' lives are forever changed, so are the hearts of many others.
"Their stories were heart wrenching, they were heart wrenching, to go and know that your home is safe and that you're going out to a place of utter devastation, they have come back humble and gracious and appreciative. I've gotten an email from a couple of volunteers who have come back and they are ready to do it again should the need arise," said O'Brien.
O'Brien said while it's hard to imagine the town returning to what it was, she said she had no doubt it would.
"It's a sad time, but the one thing I can say from everything I've been reading and hearing is that these communities are rallying around one another and they are supporting them, true Oklahoma-style. They are supporting their neighbors and rallying around one another," said O'Brien.
O'Brien said while the Red Cross only accepts cash donations, there are places that are taking everything else. The Centenary Methodist Church is accepting those donations at 704 SW D Avenue in Lawton.