Day Of Caring Volunteers Help Sand Springs Tornado Victim


Friday, September 11th 2015, 1:32 pm
By: News On 6


The United Way Day of Caring uses 9/11 remembrance as a way to highlight service to the community.

Friday, more than 5,000 volunteers were spread across Green Country to work on 350 different service projects.

One of them was in Sand Springs, where volunteers helped a woman displaced by the March 25th tornado.

Tulsa Area United Way

The project is just one of many going on in Green Country, and organizers with the United Way say it's really a big year for days of service.

"We're excited for a lot of reasons, but in particular it's going to be the largest one in our 91-year history," said Mark Graham, president and CEO of Tulsa United Way.

Volunteers worked tirelessly to get the home ready for move-in day Saturday, and it's a day that's been a long time in the making for Linda Elmore.

"There were 41 people that lost their home that night, and 11 of those people were in my family," she said.

Elmore lost her home the night of March 25th in the tornado that hit Sand Springs.

She said, "I put my daughter-in-law and my grandson and my two dogs between my mattresses and I laid on them and the roof ripped off right above my head and I could see out."

She and her family lived in the mobile home park that was hit hardest by the storm.

"They folded up like cracker boxes. It looked like a war zone," Elmore recalled.

She’s been homeless ever since, bouncing from place to place, until she finally ended up in a local motel for the last two months.

But that's all about to change thanks to Sand Springs Community Services.

The organization has helped her find a new home where, Friday, volunteers like Stewart Solomon from the United Way's Day of Caring were working to freshen it up with a new coat of paint.

"It's great for us to be able to take one day to give back and help the agencies, the United Way agencies that are working throughout the entire year to do such great things," he said.

It’s a small project with a big impact, especially for someone like Elmore.

"I'm going to be able to have a life again," she said.

She’s had some serious health problems and has been struggling to stay out of the hospital. All she wants is a place she and Peaches can call their own.

"This place I can't say nothing bad about, but I just want to be in my own home," she said. “Sit in my chair and watch my own TV. I want something to eat out of my own fridge," Elmore said.

As of Saturday morning, she will have that home, thanks to gracious volunteers and organizations that help those in their most desperate time of need.