Joplin survivor helps victims of Oklahoma tornado - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Joplin survivor helps victims of Oklahoma tornado

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Rachel Mitchell Rachel Mitchell
EFFINGHAM CO., GA (WTOC) -

Wednesday was an emotional day for survivors of the tornado that struck Joplin, MO, two years ago. For Rachel Mitchell and her family, who now live in Rincon, GA, it serves as a reminder of a day that forever changed their lives.

Instead of focusing on the past, they are focusing on helping the tornado victims of Moore, OK, with the devastation that is currently affecting their families.

It was two years ago Mitchell and her family hid in a closet while a tornado tore through her Missouri home.

"Today is a special day for me. At 5:41 p.m., we survived the tornado in a small closet. It's kind of a memorable day," Mitchell said. "It has been an emotional day for me."

After seeing the devastation rip through Oklahoma, Mitchell said she feels compelled to pay it forward and help the victims like she was helped in her time of need.

"I know we were in shock when it happened," Mitchell said. "They are probably in shock, picking up the pieces of their life. If I can help them put those lives together and start all over, that is what I want to do. So many people helped us when we went through our devastation and I want to return the favor."

For those serving first hand in Oklahoma, the devastation is unlike anything they have ever seen.

"The breadth of it is incredible," said Maj. Steve Morris, Salvation Army Arkansas-Oklahoma Divisional Commander. "You've got 12,000 to 14,000 homes that are completely devastated and we are trying to feed as many of those people and the first responders as possible."

Mitchell just hopes by reaching out for others to help she can help lessen the burden on the victims.

"God has called me to pay it forward to the victims of the Oklahoma tornado, so I have been collecting donations for them," said Mitchell.

Mitchell has been collecting a wide range of supplies, including clothing and blankets, for the victims and hopes someone will be able to transport the items to Oklahoma. In the meantime, the Salvation Army is asking folks to give cash donations so they can purchase food and water for the victims and responders.

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