Oklahoma Tornado Victims' Parents Band Together to Build Shelters

This past May, a destructive tornado tore through an Oklahoma elementary school leaving 7 young children dead. The grieving parents are now banning together with nonprofit Shelter Oklahoma Schools to prevent other parents from experiencing the same loss. 

The tornado causing this unthinkable tragedy ripped through Moore, Oklahoma, hitting Plaza Towers Elementary School at more than 200 mph. The state of Oklahoma does not require shelters in schools due to the rarity of these natural disasters hitting during school hours, according to Executive Director of the National Storm Shelter Association Ernst Kiesling. Additionally, shelters alone can cost anywhere from $200,000 to $1 million dollars.

But overcome with loss, the parents of the victims are banning together to ensure their children haven’t died in vain. Through the partnership with S.O.S., the group hopes to raise funds to build safe shelters in approximately 1,800 schools across the state.

“Our children are not going to die in vain,” victim Nicolas’ mother Stacey McCabe, told NBC News. “I will not let that happen, and I will not let this happen again to another parent.”

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At this point in time, the Shelter Oklahoma Schools (S.O.S.) has received more over $2 million in donations, but still have a ways to go to reach their goal of about $1 billion. Yet, the group is determined.

“I can’t bring Kyle back,” said mother Mikki Davis. “But if his life was taken so that others can be saved in the future because we did something about it, then that makes me proud to be his mom.”

Coping with such a tremendous tragedy has indeed taken its toll on the families, who are using the S.O.S mission as a way to cope.

“It’s crushing. It’s a complete loss,” said victim Sydney’s father Dan Angle. “Imagine looking forward to the rest of your life knowing that you don’t ever get to be truly happy ever again… being truly happy is a thing of the past.”

Together, the grieving parents strive to support each other as they passionately work towards saving other parents from the same loss.

 

Photo Credit: NBCNews.com

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