MIDLOTHIAN, Texas (KXAN) — An elementary school in Ellis County has turned into one of the main volunteer and resource locations for tornado victims in North Texas. The volunteers at Longbranch Elementary are serving hot meals to families, collecting donations and families can pick up cleaning kits from the Salvation Army.
One trip down Meghann Lane near Red Oak shows how much help will be needed to help the families in the area rebuild.
Tony Wooten, his wife and two teenage children were not home when the tornado hit. The Wooten family along with others were allowed back into their home on Sunday afternoon. When Tony pulled pp to his address, he wasn’t even sure if it was the right house. He didn’t recognize it. It was destroyed.
On Monday afternoon, friends and volunteers were helping load items that weren’t damaged into plastic tubs.
“All of this stuff, it’s just stuff,” says Tony. “You spend a lifetime accumulating it and I told my kids the other day, it’s kind of like dying. Because when you’re dead, you don’t take any of it with you anyway.”
The Wooten’s are staying in a hotel, but if they want a hot meal, the volunteers at Longbranch Elementary will be there ready to serve breakfast, lunch and dinner.
In all, 152 homes were damaged in Wooten’s neighborhood. Officers are stationed in the neighborhood with bright lights for added security.