Children who survived an E-F5 tornado as their elementary schools crumbled around them in Moore will get a chance to see their teachers and classmates again.
The tornado that struck Moore forced the school year to end early, but on Thursday, students and teachers from two destroyed elementary schools will be reunited.
Volunteers decided they wanted to make that reunion special. Some of the younger volunteers may not understand the full impact of the tornado that struck their town, but they do know how to give.
"Other kids need it more than me because, well, they don't have anything," volunteer Joe Philpot said.
The simple idea started a large effort, and in less than 24 hours volunteers collected a toy and backpack for 1,200 Moore elementary school students.
"When you don't have anything, and someone gives you something, as a kid you can say, 'This is mine,' and you can hold it and you can touch it. It helps them regain a sense of normalcy," said senior pastor D.A. Bennett at St. Andrews United Methodist.
Bennett opened his church for volunteers to collect and sort.
"Years from now we can only hope that they will think back when other people are in need and say, 'People helped me when I had a need. I'm going to help them, too,'" Bennett said.
From 10 a.m. to noon, students and teachers can pick up belongings and visit with each other.
Because the tornado destroyed the Plaza Towers and Briarwood Elementary schools, those students will attend reunions at East Lake and Wayland Bonds Elementary schools.
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State and federal officials in Oklahoma are working to set up disaster recovery centers to provide aid and assistance to victims of the deadly tornado. More >>
State and federal officials in Oklahoma are working to set up disaster recovery centers to provide aid and assistance to victims of the deadly tornado. Residents are also at work, taking stock of what's left of their homes and possessions and deciding what comes next. More >>
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