Middle School Shelter Teaches Hope

By Mark Geary, Reporter

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By Becky Ogann

PARKERSBURG - Rain and thunderstorms made it harder for people to clean-up tornado debris in Parkersburg. That's where an EF-5 tornado hit Sunday, killing seven people and wiping out nearly 300 homes.

The Aplington-Parkersburg Middle School looks more like a clothing store than a place to study reading, writing and arithmetic.

"It's really neat to see people come together to help," said Samantha Sweet.

Donations from all over the state and even the country keep classrooms stocked with clothes. Volunteers are sorting them by size to make it easier for tornado survivors to find what they need.

Most of the clothes are new or gently used. Many victims haven't had the chance to visit the shelter yet simply because they're too busy taking care of their property and other essentials.

You won't learn any lessons about history or science in this room right now, but this place is teaching everyone about compassion and hope.

The Middle School Shelter is collecting toiletries, mattresses and of course clothes. If you're planning to donate clothes, they need more of the larger sizes that are in new or like new condition.

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