Iowa volunteers to help with Oklahoma tornado recovery - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa volunteers to help with Oklahoma tornado recovery


Some eastern Iowans will leave Tuesday morning to help with clean up and recovery efforts from the Oklahoma tornadoes.

The volunteers want to return the favor for the help their communities received 5 years ago.

The images tell the story in Oklahoma.

So much damage.

So much rebuilding.

That's why volunteers from Prairie Lakes Church in Cedar Falls are leaving Tuesday for the Oklahoma City area.

"We'll be doing things like debris cleanup, tarping roofs, cleaning up the areas, helping people go through the debris," said Stephanie Tjaden, a volunteer.

11 volunteers from Prairie Lakes will join the group Samaritan's Purse.

The faith-based organization goes to disaster areas to provide emergency assistance.

It responded to eastern Iowa in the tornadoes and floods in 2008.

"They gave so much to our community, they stayed here at our church and we saw the amazing way they came around people that were in need and we said if we had opportunities to give back and to share and be the hands and feet of Jesus, we wanted to do that," said Prairie Lakes Church director of care and influence Connie Erpelding.

Tjaden says it was an easy decision to go.

"We're there to stand by them through what they've been through and we care about them and return what they did for us 5 years ago."

The group will stay in Oklahoma through Sunday.

They say Samaritan's Purse will match their skill set so they are in the best position to help.

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