News 12 at 11 o'clock / Friday, May 24, 2013
SALLEY, S.C. (WRDW) -- It's been just four days since a deadly tornado tore through the city of Moore, Okla., taking the lives of 24, including nine children.
The storm damaged and destroyed about 12,000 homes -- tearing families apart and leaving survivors with very little.
"It really just kind of hit me that these people have nothing," said Lori Cooper.
More than one thousand miles away, Cooper watched in despair as survivors shared their stories. That's when she turned to family and co-workers.
"I told them what I wanted to do," she said. "I told them I wanted to take water to Oklahoma."
Cooper has lived in Salley for about 18 years. With a population of about 400, she and her donation team weren't sure how much they'd be able to raise.
"We've got a U-Haul of water and first aid supplies and baby items, pet foods, hygiene items," she said.
In just less than four days, they've raised hundreds of cases of water and about $5,000.
"It is just so overwhelming until it is just unreal to know that the surrounding community has come together the way they have," said Chris Hartley, who has helped with donations.
Now Cooper, Hartley and three others are taking a packed U-Haul and a loaded church bus to make the almost 1,100-mile trip from Salley, S.C., to Moore, Okla.
"It just touches my heart to know that I'm physically able that we can go and do this for someone else that's less fortunate," Hartley said.
"Hopefully, we'll get to meet some people and talk with some people, and I'm sure they'll touch us just as much as, hopefully, we'll touch them," Cooper said.