Local man finds way to help Oklahoma tornado victims

May. 26, 2013 @ 04:59 AM

After witnessing the destruction following the twister that swept through Sanford two years ago, one local man saw a glaring need in the aftermath of the last week's tornado in Moore, Okla.

Mobile Storage Company Owner Duran Johnson said he remembers Sanford families in need of portable storage units while they cleared through the debris of their former homes. After an EF-5 tornado, with winds gusting up to 200 mph, ripped through Oklahoma, Johnson said he wanted to find a way to donate to help the families.

Partnering with COWS (Containers on Wheels), Johnson is soliciting non-perishable food, toilettes, pet food and diapers to be sent to Moore in portable storage units which families can then use to store their items that weren't destroyed in the tornado.

"We immediately ran out of containers (in Sanford) for folks to be able to store things in," Johnson said. "We know that aspect very well. And I am also a member of Jonesboro Heights Baptist Church and we were very active in trying to go out and help people."

Johnson called on a network of local churches to take donations through June 10. Once the containers are full, he said, they will be shipped to COWS corporate officers in Moore to be distributed to people in need.

"We have had some experience with what those people are going through," Johnson said. "We have a responsibility. Folks came in here and helped us, and we want to see what we can do for them."

The two collection sites are at Lee Christian School, located at 3220 Keller Andrews Road, and Jonesboro Heights Baptist Church, located at 316 Main St. The other churches soliciting donations will bring their items to the two main collection sites.

A full list of participants:

* Jonesboro Heights Baptist

* Hillview Christian Assembly

* Hunt Spring Baptist

* St. Andrews Presbyterian

* First Presbyterian

* St. Luke United Methodist

* First Baptist

* Cool Springs Baptist

* Faith Bible Church

* Christian Providence Ministry

* Edgewood Presbyterian

* St. Stephens Catholic

* San-Lee Chapel

* Lee Christian School

* Grace Chapel