Local Family Travels To Oklahoma Helping Tornado Victims

Pictured is part of a subdivision in McLoud, OK where 100 homes were leveled by the same Tornados that hit Moore, OK.

Photos courtesy of Jason Pilarski.

McLoud, Ok. - While most people celebrated Memorial Day weekend camping or simply enjoying three days off, thousands of volunteers spent their weekend in Oklahoma after an F5 tornado left behind massive amounts of destruction.

Jason and Tonya Pilarski from New Haven, along with two of their children, Joshua and Hannah, were among those who spent the holiday weekend volunteering their time in Oklahoma.

While national attention remains centered on Moore, OK countless areas outside of Moore have been forgotten, such as McLoud, OK, which is about 15-miles east of Moore and where an entire subdivision with over a hundred homes was leveled.

Pictued on far right are Jason, Tonya, Joshua, and Hannah with members from the youth ministry and items that were donated.

After the second tornado hit on May 20, after coming home from work Tonya told her husband, "I know there is something we can do to help."

The following morning her husband Jason began making phone calls and by Friday they had collected over 200 teddy bears, most with a personal message from New Haven Elementary students, 33 toys, 152 nursing scrubs, and nearly 500 items of clothes, all of it donated from people in and around the New Haven community.

Jason told QuickNewsNow, "I made contact with a rural youth ministry where a couple hundred kids and their families attend regularly who were affected that lived from areas around Moore all the way into rural parts of Oklahoma.  We also found out there were a lot of nurses affected, along with children."

"We tried to think of the little things, such as nurses needing new scrubs or something as simple as a teddy bear for the younger kids to have and hold onto.  In hopes of letting them know they are not along."

Pictured is Jason Pilarski with his two children, Joshua, and Hannah.

A subdivision where over 100 homes were destroyed in McLoud, Ok was one of numerous areas over shadowed and forgotten about.  The only volunteers were next-door neighbors.

Jason, Tonya, Joshua, and Hannah spent the weekend in McLoud helping people sift through piles of rubble where their homes once stood, looking for anything salvageable.

So many things taken for granted, such as pictures and family heirlooms now became hidden treasures hidden under piles of rubble or scattered across fields.  Jason said before leaving that their plan was to help people and hopefully uncover some of these treasures.

The Pilarski's along with people from New Haven who donated a teddybear or toys will never know what these simple but important items meant to those who lost everything or the few days the Pilarski's gave to volunteer and help out anyway possible.

The one thing that Jason, Tonya, Joshua, and Hannah did do, was show citizens of McLoud, Ok. that not everyone had forgotten about them.