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Canyon-native urges panhandle not to forget about tornado victims

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MOORE - All the Oklahoma towns affected by tornadoes this year are now in long term recovery mode. Money is always useful, but as one Canyon-native who lost everything in the Moore tornado told NewsChannel 10, any form of support is very appreciated.

Thousands of Oklahoma families are starting over from the foundation up.

"This was our house. It was two story house," Canyon-native Micah Moody said pointing to an aerial view of her neighborhood.

Moody, her husband, and three children lived right across the street from Plaza Towers Elementary School where seven children died.

Their home is now nothing more than a slab of concrete, and they've only just moved into a semi-permanent rental home.

"To say for us to move on simply after just two months after such devastation is such a unrealistic expectation to be placed on those who have been through such a disaster," Moody said.

The Moody family hid in their next door neighbor's storm shelter. It saved their lives, just the first of many blessings they say they've received throughout this entire process.

But it's the generosity from strangers they say means the world to them.

"I've had some many strangers pray these beautiful prayers for me, people from all over," Moody said.

Volunteers from Joplin, Missouri set up camp outside the school where Moody spent that terrible May night pulling children out of rubble.

She says the prayers, counsel, and support from strangers has helped heal her entire family, and though she's received an overwhelming amount of help, she knows the holidays will be rough.

"We lost our tree, we lost our ornaments, we lost all the handmade ornaments from our kids. It's those kind of things that you can't replace," she said. "So there are long term things that could encourage us, even down the road."

That sentiment isn't only felt in Moore.

Shawnee, El Reno and other small Oklahoma communities are still hurting, and will be for quite some time.

"It'll be one to two years before everybody is really settled," Coordinator for Oklahoma Strong, Amber Wolanski said.

Oklahoma Strong connects those who want to help directly to families who need it. Through Oklahoma Strong, an 11-year-old Dalhart boy was able to raise $16,000 and donate it to a family of eight.

"It's an avenue of knowing that 100% of what you give is going directly to survivor families," Wolanski said.

Many victims say they've been criticized for living in a place where tornadoes are frequent, but home is home even when it hurts.

"There are a lot of people still hurting," Moody said. "Those of you in Amarillo, if you feel like God is tugging on your heart to do anything, just go for it. There are many ways that you can give and help. It doesn't have to be just merely financially. Even if you made Christmas ornaments, there's a lot that you can do for us here that we've lost that can help us."

If you want to donate, volunteer, or even want advice on how to start a new project to help the Oklahoma tornado victims, any of the following organizations can point you in the right direction.

Moore Oklahoma Tornado Recovery Facebook

Oklahoma Tornadoes Recovery Facebook

OKStrong

The City of Moore Recovers

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