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Nonprofit organization working from the ground up on new home for 74-year-old woman

Volunteers from Virginia are rebuilding a Moore woman's tornado-destroyed home.
BY CARMEN FORMAN cforman@opubco.com Modified: July 20, 2013 at 12:00 pm •  Published: July 20, 2013

— Barbara Garcia's prayers were answered May 20 when a TV reporter pointed out her beloved schnauzer trapped in debris after a tornado leveled her home.

“I thought God just answered one prayer ‘let me be OK,'” Garcia said as she bent down to pet her Bowsy after the dog was freed from the wreckage. “He answered both of them because this was my second prayer.”

More than two months after the tornado, a third prayer has been answered because volunteers are making her house the first to be rebuilt from the ground up.

Jim Fischetti is one of the few Oklahomans who didn't see TV or Internet video of Garcia recovering her dog. Immediately after the storm, the chief executive officer at Oklahoma City Northwest Keller Williams Realty was on the phone calling his workers to see how they and their families were doing.

When he heard that Garcia, 74, the grandmother of an administrative employee for one of his real estate agents, had lost her home, he partnered with Operation Blessing, an international nonprofit that helps uninsured and underinsured people after disasters, to reconstruct the home.

“We really take seriously that our people are family and you take care of them,” Fischetti said.

Garcia couldn't be more thankful.

Garcia's home was the first of 57 rebuild requests so far in Moore. Moore had 1,029 homes destroyed and an additional 1,036 damaged, Moore special projects manager Jared Jakubowski said. The May 20 EF5 tornado in Moore killed 24 people.

Watch the video of Garcia finding her missing dog

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