Thousands of volunteers helping people impacted by tornadoes

SULPHUR, Okla. (KFOR) – Volunteers from across the country are working to provide supplies and food to those impacted by tornadoes in Oklahoma. In Sulphur, Vickie Skidmore said her home was destroyed Saturday and within days complete strangers were in her yard clearing out downed trees and debris.

“This place was loaded with trees and people just started cutting,” said Skidmore.

Tornado destroys Sulphur’s historic downtown

She said after the storm blew through most of the homes, streets and cars in her neighborhood, it was unrecognizable. It made it hard to get out of the neighborhood to get help or supplies. She said the church dropped off a port-a-potty for people to use as they cleared out their homes.

Her mother, who lived at the 120-year-old home, was not there when the tornado hit.

“If she had been here, it would have killed her,” said Skidmore.

Now, she must find a place for her mother to live. She said that has been a hard challenge with apartments and rental properties scooped up by other families impacted.

Thousands of volunteers from across the country have been helping families like Skidmore’s. At the Murray County Expo, a makeshift distribution center has been set up for families to come in and out, grabbing items that they need. Workers from Lowe’s stores across Oklahoma have been on the ground, donating time and supplies.

“We have some people clearing some of those properties in town and then we have some other ones here helping them with donations,” said David Villalobos, manager at the Lowe’s store in Ardmore.

Local business in Sulphur left picking up the pieces of devastating tornado

Lowe’s sent large storage totes stocked with everything from gloves, to trash bags, and flashlights, with more than 100 workers.

A group of volunteers out of Mississippi from the non-profit ‘Eight Days of Hope’ pulled into town on Monday. They brought two trailers with them. One that transformed into a kitchen and the other was a refrigerator for their food supplies.

“I just saw the immediate need people had just for a hot meal,” said Matt Schlagel, Eight Days of Hope’s feeding director. “That’s the first thing. They need something in their stomach.”

Find more coverage of the deadly tornado outbreak

The volunteers with the organization have handed out more than 1,000 meals and counting.

Derrick Scobey, pastor at Oklahoma City’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, helped organize a semi-truck loaded with donations from World Vision. It arrived in Sulphur this week.

“We have some food, we have cleaning supplies, tarps, toys for the children, pillows. And the list just really goes on and on,” said Scobey.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to Oklahoma City.