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Thousands of Backpacks for Tornado Hit School Children

Kyle Schwab Modified: June 13, 2013 at 12:27 pm •  Published: June 13, 2013

“We don’t use the ‘V’ word,” Margaret Robertson says. “We call ourselves ministers.”

Robertson attends St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church, just north of where the May 20 tornado tore through neighborhoods in southwest Oklahoma City. She said she’s been amazed by the volunteers responding to the disaster.

“It’s a world-wide community,” Robertson said. “The response has been overwhelming. When a need is voiced, it’s met in minutes.”

Robertson has been answering phone calls to St. Andrew’s from people all over the country.

Callers from places such as Florida and California, Boston and Seattle have asked, “What can we do?” and “What can we send you?”

Soon after the tornado hit, St. Andrew’s posted on Facebook, asking for 1,200 backpacks for children who attended Briarwood and Plaza Towers elementary schools, which were destroyed by the tornado.

Within 24 hours, 2,200 backpacks loaded with school supplies were donated from various sources for the two destroyed elementary schools.

In addition to the backpacks, $38,000 was donated, with the money going to $30 gift cards for each bag. With hundreds of remaining backpacks still to be distributed, the church plans to give them to other damaged areas, such as Shawnee.

KYLE SCHWAB, STAFF WRITER


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