Hundreds help families get back on their feet in Kokomo

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KOKOMO, Ind. - Following Wednesday’s devastating storms, hundreds were left without a home.

225 people stayed Thursday night at the makeshift Red Cross disaster relief shelter in Kokomo. That’s where more than 100 volunteers congregated to help the many families impacted, get back on their feet.

“Me and my mom was down in the basement,” said 15 year old Holly Workman who rode out the tornado with her mom in the basement of their home.

“This is the house I grew up in and me and my family and now it’s gone,” she said.

“My home is my family, this is a building, it can be replaced,” said her father, Doug Workman, when asked his feelings about his home being completely destroyed.

The Workmans, like many in Kokomo are homeless.

“Things can be replaced as far as homes, a car, and belongings, they can be replaced, but a human life can never be replaced,” said Betty Zehring, who was staying in the Kokomo shelter.

“They’re good to you here. They’re really good to you here. But it’s not like home,” said Gloria Ennis whose home was destroyed by the tornado.

“I’ve grown up in Kokomo and when I saw what happened all over the city I thought OK, I’ve got to do something,” said Paige Jones, a volunteer at the shelter.

Jones, like many volunteers, is a proud Kokomo resident. She heeded the call to step up and help.

“I’ve got friends all over and some got hit pretty hard so I figured instead of just sitting around doing nothing, I figure I could come out today and help,” she said.

“It’s up to us especially community leaders, the pastors and the community leaders to step and to provide them with the assistance that they need,” said Brian Layne, who helped organize a prayer service.

Down the road from the shelter Thursday was a gathering of prayers and pledges. Local churches gathered first for prayer, but followed it with a night of clean up.

“Loading up stuff, taking it to storage units and stuff like that. Trying to get peoples’ stuff out,” said Layne.

An overwhelming cleanup that had hundreds of helping hands.

“You ain’t got time to break down. You just got to be strong. That’s the card you’re dealt with and that’s what we’re playing right now,” said Workman.

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